Joy at sight of Haughley bypass works

WORK to iron out one of the most notorious stretches of road in Suffolk is today under way.The Haughley Bends on the A14 are being by-passed and should be a thing of the past for Suffolk drivers by next summer.

WORK to iron out one of the most notorious stretches of road in Suffolk is today under way.

The Haughley Bends on the A14 are being by-passed and should be a thing of the past for Suffolk drivers by next summer.

Earthmoving equipment has moved on to land beside the A14 over the last few days as work begins at the Stowmarket end of the project.

An official launch of the project, and an exhibition of what is happening, is due to take place in Haughley next month.

The work is being undertaken by contractors Birse Civils, and should not affect users of the existing A14 until next spring.

A major new junction is being created at the Stowmarket end of the road which will create a junction for that town and the villages of Haughley, Onehouse and Harleston.

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The new road should be ready to use in the late summer of 2008, but the work will not be completed until the end of next year once the existing A14 has been converted into a smaller road for nearby communities.

The Haughley Bends has been a notorious accident blackspot ever since the original single-carriageway road was dualled there in the 1970s.

The introduction of a 50mph speed limit on this section in 2000 helped reduce the number of accidents and fatalities - but that was only ever considered a stop-gap until the road was replaced.

John Prigg, of Haughley, has been campaigning for a new road for decades - and was delighted to see the start of work.

He said: “It's really good to see all the earthmovers hard at work, they seem to be going along very well.

“The road badly needs to be improved and it is wonderful to see things finally happening after all these years.”

Will the new section of the A14 make a difference to your journeys? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Haughley Bends:

The new road will be 4km (2.5 miles) long.

It will cost £32million.

It will be dual carriageway with a new junction at the Stowmarket end.

The road from Harleston to Haughley will go on a bridge over the A14 - but there will be no junction on to the road.

The road has been in the Highways Agency programme since 2001 and was finally approved in April this year.

Source: Highways Agency

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