Preparations under way to widen A14 in Northamptonshire

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Long-awaited work to widen the A14 Kettering bypass between junctions 7 and 9 is set to start on Tuesday, January 22.

The Highways Agency says advance work on the scheme, including site clearance and exploratory survey work, will take place between now and early March.

Eventually, the project will see a third lane added to the A14 in both directions between junctions 7 and 9.

The scheme is expected to be completed by 2015 and is to cost about £110 million.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said most of the advance work taking place in the next few weeks will be carried out overnight with either lane one or two of the eastbound or westbound carriageway closed each night between 8pm and 6am.

Main construction work is expected to start in autumn this year.

Mike Hall, Highways Agency project manager, said: “Carrying out the site clearance now before the start of the spring bird nesting means we can avoid the presence of nests which might otherwise lead to a delay. Most of the work will be carried out overnight when traffic flows are lowest and we will only need to close one lane at a time, however we would still advise road users to allow extra time for their journeys.”

Kettering councillor Michael Brown said he knew the work would cause short-term inconvenience for road users but said the project was much-needed.

He added: “We must make sure Kettering is fit for purpose from an infrastructure point of view.”