Narrow and accident prone, the accident rate on the former A1073 was well above the national average. In addition, the traffic on the route had a severe environmental impact on the surrounding residential areas. With the improvement scheme completed in October 2011, the A1073 will now provide a safer and more reliable journey for road users.
As an important strategic link between Lincolnshire and Eastern England, the A1073 serves as both a local commuter route and a pathway for the distribution of agricultural and food processing freight. The completed road replaces the existing A1073 road and has been classified as the A16. The existing A16 between Spalding and Stamford has become the A1175, whilst the former A1073 is now an unclassified road.
The project began in 2008 and has comprised 21.5km of 7.3m wide single carriageway road with 1 metre wide hard strips and 2.5m wide verges that will run between the existing A47 (Peterborough) to Spalding (Lincolnshire). A short section of the A47 towards the south of the project has been dualled and three bridges have also been constructed, including a 73.5m span ‘bow stringed’ arch bridge over the Scheduled Ancient Monument at Car Dyke.
Other works have included the construction of five roundabouts with street lighting and the planting of 98,000 plants and trees.
The scheme was developed by the Lincolnshire County Council in partnership with Peterborough City Council and received approximately £70m in funding from the Department of Transport. Lincolnshire County and Peterborough City Councils granted planning permission for the new route in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Main contractors Morgan Sindall were awarded the £62.5m contract in November 2007. In May 2009, Corus Construction & Engineering Products (CEP) was awarded a contract to provide Vetex highway safety barriers for the scheme. The barriers are manufactured using galvanised steel, which provides higher protection whilst requiring lower levels of maintenance. In addition, the distance between the two posts was kept at 5m in order to reduce both the number of components and the installation time.
P.J Thory supplied the imported materials, whilst Lancaster Earthmoving completed the earthworks and Hansons were responsible for the surfacing. Fairfield Mabey carried out the Car Dyke structural steelwork, Caulfields completed the drainage and ERH installed the street lighting and road signs.
The new A1073 was originally scheduled for completion in autumn 2010; however, stability issues arose on the embankment approaching Car Dyke Bridge, within the Peterborough section of the scheme. Unfortunately, the embankment required further work in order to ensure the long-term durability and safety of this section of the road. As a result, only the Lincolnshire section of the road was opened to traffic in August 2010.
Car Dyke bridge spans a Scheduled Ancient Monument site and as a result of temporary works within the Monument, 586 sq m of turf was preserved within a purpose built enclosure until work was completed and it could be returned to its original position.
Other challenges included dealing with the soft local fenland ground conditions and working around limited access points.