The first section of a major access route for the UK city of Stafford will open this month, allowing work on the project’s next phase.
Work to build the 1.2km Stafford Western Access Route began in summer 2019. The two lane road will have wide cycling lanes and pedestrian walkways, often on both sides of the route.
The new section, called Unicorn Way, connects Castlefields to Doxey and includes a new roundabout on the re-aligned Doxey Road. Final surfacing work is taking place this month.
Marshy ground conditions along the route has necessitated extensive piling works to support the viaducts – around 1,580 piles of which about 840 are driven piles.
The opening of Unicorn Way will coincide with the start of works on the Doxey Road railway bridge. The bridge will be closed to all traffic but remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. This phase of the scheme is set to be completed in mid-June 2021, when the bridge will reopen to traffic.
Meanwhile work continues on installation of the new road bridge providing the connection between Madford Retail Park and the section towards Doxey Road. Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – will form the base of the bridge over the River Sow.
The €32 million project is being funded by developers and with €17.2 million secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the UK government’s Local Growth Fund. Both the county and borough councils also contributed to the scheme.