The South Devon Link Road looking south towards Torbay (c)Skyflicks
After more than 50 years in the planning, Devon County Council and Torbay Council, along with Galliford Try, have announced that the South Devon Link Road is now open.
The 5.5km dual carriageway costing £110m, will provide the long awaited bypass for Kingskerswell between Newton Abbot and Torbay.
The old A380 is now expected to become much quieter, which will allow major tie-in works to proceed including surfacing of the local roads surrounding the new highway. An extensive landscaping programme is also underway. When the project is officially complete in 2016, a formal opening ceremony will take place.
Construction began in autumn 2012, following a huge effort and financial commitment from Devon County Council (DCC) and Torbay Council.
Working as designer for contractors Galliford Try/SIAC, Ramboll’s design highlights for the project included optimisation of the road alignment which was squeezed between houses, railway and river, multiple rail structures (with tight possession dates), environmental and water issues (badger tunnel, refuge for reptiles, fish culvert), reuse of site materials, and extending the viaduct to accommodate the many underground utilities at Penn Inn roundabout.
The old A380 between Penn Inn, Newton Abbot and Kerswell Gardens, Torquay, was one of the most choked up and heavily used roads in the region, carrying over 35,000 vehicles a day. The improved road scheme is expected to bring lasting economic benefits, including the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs in South Devon, with around 3,500 of these in Torbay. It is also predicted that the new road will remove 95% of traffic from Kingskerswell, restoring and revitalising the village’s tranquillity.
The South Devon Link Road Project was one of the biggest construction projects and one of the most complex highways schemes in the South West. Involving many partners and engineering challenges, the project has received awards for considerate practices that show respect to the community and the environment.