Representatives come together to officially open Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road
Those delivering a crucial relief road to the east of Bury St Edmunds have celebrated its official opening.
Construction of the £15million Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road, funded by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council, began in March 2016.
The route, which was delivered on time and is more than a mile long, began to be developed around 10 years ago, and economically unlocks a 67-hectare area for business development and the potential for 15,000 jobs in the area.
The road, Rougham Tower Avenue, built by J Breheny Contractors, also provides a viable alternative route for those travelling from Moreton Hall to the A14, as well as creating an access to the Sybil Andrews Academy.
As part of these works, junction 45 of the A14 has been upgraded to be able to cope with the expected additional traffic and 600 metres of Sow Lane has been reconstructed.
Connections to utilities have also been provided for anticipated development sites. Work has also been undertaken to create tree protection zones and build badger tunnels. Bat mitigation has also been planned, to protect the wildlife in the area.
The opening of the road now facilitates the next planned phase of works, on the footway and cycleways along the new route and in General Castle Way.
These works include finalising the pedestrian and cyclist provision and associated landscaping. All works are anticipated to be completed by October 13.
Councillor Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council, said:
“The opening of this road is a momentous occasion. It underlines our commitment to investing in our great county, bringing development and jobs to the area.
“We and our partners have worked extremely hard in bringing this road to Bury. While it only looks like we’ve laid tarmac, the benefits of this road are far greater – to the sum of millions of pounds and thousands of jobs.”
Doug Field, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“The Eastern Relief Road was one of our priority projects in our first Growth deal bid to Government back in 2014. To see it come to fruition is testament to all the hard work we and our local partners have put into these plans.
“This road will bring enormous social and economic benefits to the area for many years to come, with new businesses, jobs and homes. It will also unlock further investment on our Enterprise Zone site at Suffolk Business Park and making Bury an even greater place to live and work.”
Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Councillor John Griffiths said:
“I am delighted and proud that this road, which has long been an ambition of St Edmundsbury, has now opened to traffic. We invested £3m ourselves and worked hard to secure funding from the LEP and County Council to bring this to fruition. This is part of a number of initiatives we are carrying out across the area to attracts millions of pounds of investment, new jobs and much needed homes.
“This road will enable the growth of thousands of new jobs at the Suffolk Business Park which is already attracting interest from successful local companies who want to expand without having to relocate from the area.
"It will encourage new businesses into West Suffolk, and enhance the variety of employment on offer to help young people and graduates remain here in West Suffolk.
"On top of this, it is a road that helps deliver 500 new homes including much needed affordable housing, giving more people the chance to stay and work where they grew up.
“It will also bring much wider benefits to our families and communities for years to come, relieving some of the local congestion and providing better access to The Sybil Andrews Academy and the community leisure facilities that are based there.
"So I am delighted that our innovation and the hard work of all of the project partners in the delivery of this road, has paid off and look forward to the success and prosperity that it will help bring to the area.”
John Breheny, chairman of Breheny Civil Engineering, said:
“I am delighted the road is open and hopefully it will lead to good quality businesses and jobs moving into Bury St Edmunds.”