The opening stages of construction and installation for the Spalding Western Relief Road are progressing nicely, and the project is still expected to be completed by autumn 2023.
The project, which is estimated to cost £109.5 million, began in January with initial construction phases for the relief road, which will stretch 6.5km to link the A1175 and A16 to the south and east of Spalding to the B1356 northbound, via the B1172 Spalding Common.
Part of the works will see a new bridge built over the Lincoln to Peterborough rail line, and construction will take place in the daytime with special hoarding used to lessen the noise impact for residents nearby.
So far across January and February, test piles have been installed for structural embankment foundations, gas main protection for the site haul road were installed, ground investigations took place and construction of permanent drainage near the location of the new Spalding Road roundabout commenced.
In the coming months there will be a range of works taking place, including the removal of the old Two Plank footbridge, construction of highways drainage retention, and the installation of headwalls to pond and ditch outfalls.
There is currently no planned traffic management on local roads for the current works, but there has been a closure of Two Plank Bridge, its connecting footpath and the footpath on the Wygate estate across the rail line.
However, from autumn 2022 there will be a combination of road closures and temporary traffic lights used as needed, including on Enterprise Way and Spalding Road. The details of this will be revealed in due course.
Once complete, it is hoped the transport link will reduce delays and congestion, as well as encouraging walking and cycling in Spalding town centre, and supporting sustainable housing and commercial growth in the wider South Holland district.
It hasn’t been without its fair share of controversy, though. In 2019, Lincolnshire County Council were forced to apologise for leaving residents “in limbo” over the future of their homes, as people found out their homes could be demolished as part of the project.
Then, in January 2020, senior LCC councillors called for the route of the relief road to be changed to spare more homes from demolition, a move which was eventually approved and saved nine houses in the process.