First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Plans for the £1.6 billion Stonehenge Tunnel bypass in the UK have now been revised. The changes have been made over concerns that the tunnel would cause archeological damage to the important site around the Stonehenge monument. The tunnel length has been extended to nearly 3km and the portal has been redesigned so as not to obstruct the scenery, while a viaduct will be constructed at the western end to allow the widened road to span the River Till. Historical groups are however still concerned as the revised plans would reconnect a minor road that is currently cut in two by the existing main route. There are fears that this would allow more vehicles to travel close to the site, with the potential for damage to the area.
The upgrade to the busy A303 where it runs past Stonehenge has been mooted since the early 1990s. The existing road features just two lanes at this point and winds through a small village, resulting in frequent traffic jams as well as serious concerns over road safety. With the route carrying a heavy traffic load, particularly in summer months due to tourism, as well as a high percentage of transport trucks, it is unable to cope with demand. But as the 4,000 year old Stonehenge monument and the surrounding area is a World Heritage site and one of the most important archeological locations in Europe.