A £150 million Highways Agency scheme to widen the A453 in the East Midlands is progressing well.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin (pictured) recently visited the project to see how the scheme is progressing and find out more about the local jobs it is generating.
The project involves widening a seven-mile section of the A453 between M1 junction 24 in Leicestershire and the A52 in Nottinghamshire. It is expected to unlock growth and boost the economy as well as reduce congestion and improve safety. Construction started in January 2013.
McLoughlin said: “The A453 is an important catalyst in boosting the economy. Once complete it will stimulate growth in and around the area and help existing businesses to move their goods and staff around the country more efficiently.
“It is great news that the local area is benefiting from the scheme so early into construction. The fact that 409 people have already been employed through the scheme’s construction, with £21.5 million spent so far with local businesses on materials and their services, is a great asset to the region.”
So far £36.3 million of orders have been placed, with 60% of this (£21.5 million) with sub-contractors based within 50 miles of the project. This includes J A Kent Services who carried out site clearance of trees and other vegetation along the route. The project has also recruited local employees to work on the scheme, with over 60% of staff coming from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire or South Yorkshire.
Highways Agency project manager Jonathan Pizzey said: “The A453 improvement got off to a strong start and we have continued to make good progress over the last year. Traffic is already using part of the new road thanks to the opening of Mill Hill roundabout and we are now surfacing new sections of carriageway in that area.”
The Highways Agency will upgrade the 5.5 mile rural section of the A453 from M1 junction 24 to the new Clifton Mill Hill Roundabout to a dual carriageway. The scheme also includes widening the 1.5 mile urban section through Clifton from a two-lane single carriageway to two lanes in each direction, with signalisation of the existing Crusader roundabout and new signalised roundabout junctions at Green Lane and Farnborough Road.