Advance work on the ‘Dunstable Northern Bypass’ will start on 27 May following approval of the scheme by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
The work will involve utility companies diverting some key infrastructure, including moving two overhead high powered electricity cables underground, and the relocation of gas and water pipes and fibre optic broadband cables.
Moving the cables and pipes will support the main construction of the A5-M1 link road and the new Junction 11a, which is due to start by March 2015.
This package of major civil engineering work will take 24 months to complete, so will continue alongside main construction.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said:
It is great news that we have been able to give the green-light for this important new link road, which now means the dual carriageway can move a step closer towards construction.
This improvement is vital for the economy and for motorists travelling between the M1 and A5 in Central Bedfordshire, cutting congestion levels in Dunstable and making journey times quicker.
Highways Agency Project Manager, Karen Green, said:
It’s important we start this package of work now, as it helps us keep on target for main work starting by March 2015.
There will be some local traffic management in place during the work, but we expect it have minimal impact on road users.
Central Bedfordshire Council provided £5m funding towards the cost of the scheme.
Director of Regeneration at the Council, Jason Longhurst, said:
This marks an important step in the on-going process of meeting the future infrastructure needs for the area. Over the coming months we will be working hard with our partners to bring our plans to fruition.
The impact on traffic ahead of main work starting is expected to be minimal, however road users will be kept up to date on how any site preparation work will affect them, via the scheme webpage and through updates to local travel and news media.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer