The Lincoln Eastern Bypass will open this weekend at long last, and Karl McCartney MP, perhaps in jest, said it should be named after him for all the effort he’s put into enabling the project.
The £120 million single carriageway bypass opens during the weekend of Saturday, December 19, connecting the existing northern relief road with a new roundabout on the A15 Sleaford Road.
The project has been a long time coming, with planning permission first submitted way back in 2012.
It took a full year for this to be granted, and a further four years for construction works to actually begin in June 2017.
It also hasn’t been plain sailing for the development, with delays causing the road’s completion date to be pushed from spring 2020 to December.
Four new roundabouts and eight new bridges were built, as well as over six miles of new shared footways/cycleways.
The plan is for a complete ring road surrounding the city of Lincoln in the future, with the southern bypass being the next step towards making that a reality.
With the project now complete, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has praised the work done to get it finished, and even proposed a new name for the bypass.
The Lincoln MP said: “This is a significant, positive and massive step forward which will benefit Lincoln and the county for many decades to come.
“It only took a century from when it was first thought of as a benefit for the city in 1916 I am told!
“Many of my constituents and colleagues who have heard me bang the drum for this bypass for over a decade think it maybe could be called ‘McCartney Way’, and funnily enough, I do not disagree with them, especially as I invested so much political capital in ensuring it happened and was built, in the face of much opposition.”
It would seem that not everybody is on board with Karl McCartney’s proposal, however.
County Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “It’s always interesting when suggestions are made for naming roads, thankfully the decision ultimately rests with the city council.”
The Lincoln Eastern Bypass will become the new A15, while the current section between Riseholme and Wragby Road roundabouts will also become the A15 (currently the A46 and A158).
Meanwhile, the current section of A15 from Sleaford Road Roundabout, through Bracebridge Heath and to the bottom of Cross O’Cliff Hill will become the A607 and the current A15 through Lincoln (starting at Cross O’Cliff Hill, over Pelham Bridge and to Wragby Road Roundabout) will become the A1434.
Cllr Davies has been overseeing the delivery of the project. He previously said: “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.
“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.”
The bypass will also be added to the council’s gritting schedule and local highway officers will regularly monitor wear and tear on the road.