The first sod of the Flore and Weedon bypass through Northamptonshire was cut today as part of £32 million plans to provide “long-awaited relief” to villages in the west of the county.
The A45 Daventry development link road will form a new 3.5-mile long single carriageway, which is aimed to improve transport links between Northampton and Daventry and improve access between Daventry and the M1 motorway.
The Northamptonshire County Council project also aims to provide relief to communities in Flore, Weedon and Upper Heyford of through traffic as well as supporting future growth in the Daventry district.
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of the county council leader, said: “This is an important project in a number of ways including being essential to provide the adequate infrastructure to support future economic growth in the Daventry district.
“However one of the big gains is for the villages for which this road will provide a bypass, as it will bring long-awaited relief to the heavy traffic that has passed through these communities for many years.
“This hasn’t been an easy project to get started, mainly because of the lack of funding that is available for infrastructure projects nationally.
“But we’ve managed to find a way – working with our partners to pool together finances for the project that will bring far-reaching benefits for many people in the county.
“This project is an endorsement of innovative working and collaboration can bring about positive achievement.”
The £32million project has been paid for through a finance arrangement known as the “Northamptonshire revolving infrastructure fund,” which has seen the county council put down an initial £14 million to start the scheme from money it has received as part of the Government Growth Deal.
The road has been designed and constructed by KierWSP and Balfour Beatty and will start at a new roundabout on the existing A45 between the settlements of Dodford and Weedon, to the east of Globe Farm.
It will then pass to the north of the villages of Weedon, Flore and Upper Heyford before rejoining the A45 at a new roundabout between Upper Heyford and the M1 motorway at junction 16.
The road has also been designed so that it could become a dual-carriageway in the future.