The £120 million Lincoln Eastern Bypass will open this weekend after over three years of works.
The single carriageway bypass will start at a new roundabout on the A15 Sleaford Road and finish at the A158 Wragby Road. This will connect the existing northern relief road and become the next step towards creating a complete ring road around the city.
Four new roundabouts and eight new bridges were built, while there will also be new speed limits and road layouts in place, which are expected to divert up to 25% of traffic from Broadgate in Lincoln.
Before it can open there are a few finishing touches to do, including laying the final sections of tarmac, signage and road paint.
Planning permission for the bypass was first submitted in 2012 before being granted the following year. The main construction works began in June 2017.
The project was initially meant to be completed in spring 2020, then autumn 2020, but it wasn’t ready until December.
The cost of the project also changed from the original figure of £99 million up to £120 million. Among the delays for the bypass was primary contractor Carillion going into liquidation in 2018.
Meanwhile, back in the 1990s, North Hykeham Town Council started a campaign and over 20 years ago it was still replying on plans for a so called ‘Eastern Bypass’ that first saw the light of day in 1951.
Over six miles of new shared footways/cycleways have also been built as part of the new bypass.
More than 300 new trees, 10,000 smaller shrubs and plants, and an extensive new drainage system are just some of the ways county engineers are lessening the road’s impact on local ecology.
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “I’m really happy to announce that the new Lincoln Eastern Bypass will be officially opening this coming weekend.
“This is, without a doubt, one of Lincoln’s most anticipated infrastructure projects in decades, so I know this news will be welcomed by everyone living and working in and around the city.
“However, before we open the road, there are a few finishing touches to finish, including laying the final sections of tarmac, topsoiling along the route’s verges, installing the last of the new road signs, and installing fencing along the pedestrian/cycle routes.
“Getting this scheme built has been no easy task. In fact, since starting construction, nearly 1.4 million hours have been spent building the new bypass, along with over 150,000 tonnes of tarmac and other road building materials.”
Councillor Davies added that “even though the road will open from this weekend, there are still some works left to complete over the next couple of months”, but he wants to “assure everyone that this will all be completed with little to no disruption for drivers”.
The 7.5km Lincoln Eastern Bypass project is part-funded by a £50m Central Government capital grant.
Bypass works in numbers
- Four new roundabouts and eight new bridges
- 20 miles of drainage pipes installed
- 2.2 million tonnes of soil and earth moved
- 160 low energy LED street lights installed
- 18 miles of new road markings laid
- 250,000 ancient artefacts uncovered
- 3,700 tonnes of steel, 17,500 tonnes of concrete and 1,800 tonnes of reinforcement for the new bridges
- 305 new trees, 10,000 smaller shrubs and plants and 68,000 hedge plants planted