The £1.7Bn A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Scheme, which aims to construct a two mile long tunnel underneath the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, has entered the Countess roundabout stage of its development following the completion of geotechnical surveys.
This new stage of the Stonehenge scheme’s development will include ground investigation work which entails the drilling of boreholes and trial pits to ensure the safety to motorists ahead of above and below ground developments in the area.
The ground work investigation phase of this project is scheduled to commence at the start of November and will continue for a period of six weeks.
The Highways England Project Director, Derek Parody stated: “Our ongoing survey work in no way pre-empts the outcome of the DCO Examination. The surveys are taking place to help bidders with their tenders, ensure there is no delay to the programme and put us in a position to be able to start construction on schedule in 2021, providing consent is given.
“And while the work continues around Countess Roundabout, we would like to thank local communities and road users in advance for their patience.”
An 18-month procurement process was launched for the project back in July, while the scheme finally reached the conclusion of a six-month Development Consent Order Examination this past week.
This means that an examining authority will consider the DCO application before making a recommendation to the Secretary for Transport, Grant Shapps, within a period of three months, at which point the Secretary will decide whether to approve the project in the spring of 2020.
The investigation work around the Countess roundabout will result in several night time road closures during the week, meaning that motorists should expect delays and plan for longer journeys.
If the project gains approval it will create an eight mile stretch of modern dual carriageway that will lessen congestion around the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.
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