Now the contract has been awarded to Jones Bros, the King's Dyke advance work will be part of the main programme of work due to start later this year.
The site will be fenced off and confined from public interaction. All activity will comply with the Government's Covid-19 restrictions and national construction site operating procedures.
The 2001 Local Transport Plan identified that the King's Dyke level crossing in Whittlesey was in need of replacement.
A new scheme is required to allow for housing and job growth within Whittlesey, as well as reducing journey times for those who use the route.
In peak periods, the level crossing barrier can be down for between 12 and 23 minutes per hour, resulting in significant delays to traffic. Future plans by the rail industry to increase the number of trains travelling along the route are set to further increase traffic delays.
We conducted a public consultation in 2014 on proposals to replace the level crossing. 95% of respondents supported the scheme.
58% of respondents, as well as some local businesses and Whittlesey Town Council, supported a route which would bypass the existing level crossing to the south. It involves creating two new roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brickworks access road.
The scheme requires significant earthworks, ground stabilisation and construction of a bridge over the railway line, which can only close for very short periods of time.
A number of improvements and alterations to the highway network must be made to build this scheme. The work requires a Side Roads Order, which is a statutory order authorising the council to make alterations to the highway network. An order has been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Current stage of project
On Thursday 21 May 2020, Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK were confirmed as the contractor to deliver the King's Dyke level crossing closure scheme.
Following a rigorous tender process, Jones Bros scored highest in both quality and price assessments.
The tender process started in September last year and was completed on 9 April 2020. The County Council's Economy and Environment Committee and General Purposes Committee subsequently approved the award of the contract to Jones Brothers on 23 April 2020.
From Thursday 28 May 2020 for two days, Jones Bros will be on site carrying out some ground investigation work. It will be between 8am and 5pm at the western end of the scheme near Funtham's Lane and the new underpass. They will be digging holes in the fields to inspect the materials and soil qualities. No disruption will be caused on the roads and no residents will be affected.
Timeline of project so far
Cambridgeshire County Council initially allocated funding for the scheme. In 2018, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority agreed to contribute additional funding. The Council is currently out to tender to find a new contractor to build the scheme and obtain the best cost estimates.
Frequently asked questions
For more information about the scheme, please email Transport.Delivery@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or telephone 01223 699 069.
Documents relating to the scheme are available to view below, including Side Roads Orders, options assessments and feasibility reports.