Cones were lifted from the new bridge in Chelmsford as 2 lanes of traffic can now travel on the new viaduct replacing the old bridge, ahead of a formal opening ceremony next week.
The new A138 Chelmer Viaduct, which is 900 metres long and has taken 13 months to build, has involved the construction of a new viaduct, building three lanes of carriageway, a shared footway and cycleway and a new footpath.
The two lanes have opened ahead of schedule to enable users to benefit from this part of the newly constructed bridge early. The road won’t be fully open to traffic until 18 April.
Alistair Stout, Highways England project manager, said:
The opening of these two-lanes is great news for all users and will prevent further disruption in the area. We know how anticipated this improvement work has been by the local community and anyone who drives the route regularly.
We still have some surfacing work to complete to join the new road to the roundabouts but traffic can now start travelling along the viaduct.
The Highways England project, which is part of a £32 million investment programme, has increased the capacity along the Chelmer Viaduct, reduced congestion, increase safety and improve journey times.
After 18 April there will be some BT cable work, lighting and final joint work still to complete which will involve the odd overnight lane closures. The demolition of the old viaduct is due to commence in the summer, with final completion expected this winter.
The A138 will be formally opened on Wednesday 13 April.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.