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18 January 2017 - Contractor confirms completion date

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The long awaited resolution to several decades of frustration for motorists travelling along the A30 across Bodmin Moor will soon be coming to an end, contractors Kier have confirmed.

In a progress meeting with the Council, the construction firm confirmed that the contract is due to be completed by 13 July. This date reflects when the site will be cleared of any construction activity – for example, the removal of temporary signage and site offices. Completion of the four lanes is expected to be before this date – and the timing of this is being closely monitored by the Council.

Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council's Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: "A long job, well done. When it is open all the waiting and frustration will have been worth it and this will be an end to the nine mile tailbacks, uncertain deliveries and a much improved holiday experience for our visitors."

Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “The dualling of the A30 at Temple will provide much-needed additional capacity on Cornwall's major road. The revised date of completion, while unfortunate, will still be in time to absorb peak season traffic and Cornish businesses in the longer-term will see the benefit of reduced travel times year-round.”

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, said: "It would have been great to have this open by Easter, but it is great news that the road will be open before the summer. This puts to an end many years of congestion on the A30 at Bodmin Moor."

This summer, motorists heading eastbound were given a taste of just how much smoother their journeys will be from next spring, with two lanes significantly reducing the queuing traffic which has historically been seen at the site.

With the peak school holiday season now coming to an end, the construction team's sights turn to the next phase of the project which will see more work on the beams and barriers to the three bridges at Preeze Cross, Cardinham and Temple Tor.

Much of this work will need to be carried out overnight while the carriageway is closed - as a result, there will be overnight closures in place between Temple and Higher Carblake. These closures, in place each night between 8pm and 6am, will start at 8pm on Monday 4 September and end at 6am on Monday 12 September.

During the overnight closures, the temporary additional lane - put in to help ease traffic during the peak school summer holiday season on the eastbound carriageway - will be removed.

When the second lane is removed on Monday 5 September, the right turn bans will also be removed when leaving or joining the A30.

Jamie Bee, Project Manager for contractors Kier, said: "Despite the heavy rain at the beginning of the summer the scheme has continued to progress well with the concrete bridge decks to all three structures and the entire section of the new adjoining road now complete.

"Work has also started on the existing carriageway accessible to the West of the scheme and the surfacing to the side road network. The majority of progress moving forward will be subterranean with drainage and earthworks before releasing a further programme of road surfacing works in October."

During the overnight closures, motorists will be diverted along the A39 and A395 - the standard Highways England solid vertical 'diamond' diversion route for all through traffic when this stretch of the highway is closed.

Alternative arrangements will be in operation for residents next to the A30 and with no other access.

The construction of the dual carriageway on the A30 between Temple and Higher Carblake has reached a major milestone with a series of bridge lifts taking place at the site.

Over the next month three bridges - at Preeze Cross, Temple Tor and Cardinham - will be installed over the main carriageway during a series of overnight road closures.

With the steel beams each ranging in weight between 50 and 70 tonnes, a specialist crane had to be constructed at the site to lift them into place. The Liebherr crawler crane is capable of carrying up to 350 tonnes and was brought to Cornwall on 13 articulated lorries.

"Anyone travelling along this stretch of the A30 will have seen the progress we have made on constructing the bridges at Preeze Cross and Temple Tor over the two weeks," said Jamie Bee, Project Manager for Kier. "This is a significant operation involving around 40 people and a key milestone for the dual carriageway project."

Each bridge takes around a week and a half to two weeks to install with the crawler crane taking on the heavy beam lifting work and smaller cranes lifting the deck slabs and precast concrete parapets.

“Many people and a lot of heavy machinery is required to carry out this specialist task and, while we apologise for any inconvenience caused, we hope motorists can appreciate why these overnight closures are necessary,” said Steve Wood, Projects Team Leader for Cornwall Council. “The bridges will connect with new junctions being created from the new dual carriageway and we anticipate they will be open to the public by January 2017.”

Highways England Project Engineer Nick Reed said: “We have been working closely with Cornwall Council during both the development and the ongoing construction of the scheme. We are continuing to work in partnership during the series of bridge lifts to ensure there is as little disruption as possible to the travelling public.

“This project forms a key element of the Road Investment Strategy. Upon completion this important scheme will provide significant long-term benefits to both Cornwall and the wider Highways England network with substantially improved traffic flows. “As work progresses we are liaising with all of our partners to ensure drivers are given as much advice as possible about journey planning and the best times to travel.”