Contractor appointed to build vital new Plymouth road and bridge
The Forder Valley Link Road will take three years to build
The “final piece of the jigsaw” has been put in place for the new Forder Valley Link Road at Plymouth with the selection of a contractor to build it.
The city council’s Labour-run cabinet has approved Balfour Beatty as the main construction contractor. Work is expected to start this summer with a completion date in spring 2022.
The scheme for the 1-kilometre (0.6-mile) £55m road including a bridge over the Bircham Valley will open up a new link between the north of the city and the east, supporting economic growth and unlocking plans for thousands of new homes.
The new road will link Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road to William Prance Road in Derriford and is designed to improve traffic flows and cut congestion on the city’s major roads network.
It will support other highways improvements including on the A386 at Derriford and the Manadon Interchange on the A38, and will be the route to Derriford for for park and ride buses from the proposed Deep Lane site at Sherford.
Councillors were told the road will unlock the development of the Seaton neighbourhood and support the building of 4,200 homes planned for the north, along with 13,200 new jobs across the city.
Cllr Mark Coker, the city council cabinet member for strategic planning, said he recalled first putting forward a proposal for the new road in 2013.
He told a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday: “It is really great for this administration to be sitting here today and to be asking for cabinet to approve the award of the contract.
“It’s like putting the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle you have been working on for the last five years.
“I am proud to be looking forward to delivering this vital scheme.”
Strategic transport manager Sally Farley, who has been working on the plans, said: “It is wonderful to be part of a scheme that is part of a city that is on the up. The whole thing builds the momentum for growth.”
Planning permission for the scheme was given in July 2018. Funding includes £22.5m from the Department for Transport and £4.6m from Highways England.
Preparation work has already started on the route, including diverting utilities and the planting of the first of 14,500 trees.
Work to build the new road includes an enlarged junction connecting the new bridge to the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road junction.
Novorossiysk Road is to be widened to allow the removal of the existing merge south of the Miller Way Asda junction.
The cabinet approved a recommendation to go ahead with Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd as the main contractor, subject to it complying with a target cost.
What the Forder Valley Link Road will do…
The report says the key objectives of the scheme are:
To reduce congestion by providing additional network capacity for all users, thereby improving journey times on the A386 corridor and improving access to Derriford from the east;
To support economic development by providing transport infrastructure to support the planned growth in the Derriford and Seaton area;
To promote public transport use by improving bus connectivity from the east;
To encourage use of sustainable travel modes by providing an off-highway cycling and pedestrian link between Forder Valley Roundabout and Derriford, through to Derriford Community Park and Glacis Park on the west side of the A386.