Opening Ely Bypass on 31 October means work can seamlessly start on the next phase with the underpass work beginning the next morning (Thursday 1 November).
Once the bypass has opened, we can close the underpass to begin working on improving access for pedestrians and cyclists in the area. This closure will also encourage drivers to use the new improved road from the outset.
The bypass will open on 31 October in the afternoon but to minimise disruption during the evening rush hour, the underpass will be closed from 11am on Thursday 1 November.
The underpass work will be carried out under a 24/7 road closure and is expected to last up to 12 weeks, with access for cyclists and pedestrians maintained at all times. This allows the work to be completed safely and as quickly as possible and minimising costs.
By building a new bypass, the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the railway level crossing has been removed and they avoid an accident-prone-low-bridge.
Key features of the improved underpass scheme include the introduction of traffic lights at either side of the underpass to create space for a new shared use footway/cycleway, a new one-way cycle lane from Angel Square roundabout, and the existing pedestrian crossing will be upgraded allowing people to cross both carriageways at once.
The existing bus stops will also be re-located to Angel Drove as the new bus route avoids using Station Road when the level crossing is closed. Improved signage for the low bridge will be installed in new locations to provide more advance warning.
Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council Cllr Steve Count said: “Building a new bypass doesn’t just improve lives for car and lorry drivers. The new underpass facilities being carried out will benefit both pedestrians and cyclists with a new shared use path. We anticipate that by improving these facilities we are encouraging more people to walk or cycle into the city and it will reduce the number of cars.
“We are starting the underpass work at the same time as the bypass opens so that people can get into the habit of using the new road straight away. By closing the underpass 24/7 we also ensure our contractor can carry out the work as quickly and safely as possible.”
The closure of the level crossing and improvements to the underpass area are part of the planning conditions for the Ely Bypass. The new road will provide a huge boost for the area and will ease congestion in and around Ely by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove.
More details about the underpass scheme are available on www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/ely-bypass