Full details as work is ‘on schedule’ for Forder Valley Link Road
A major scheme to construct the Forder Valley Link Road is still going ahead despite some concern work had stopped.
The project is one of the biggest and most complex ever undertaken by the city council and by mid May work had already started on preparing the route ahead of the main construction work on the 1km (0.62mile) link between the A38 and the north of the city.
After Plymouth Live published a roundup article on the major roadworks planned over the next five years, comments and messages came in claiming work had stopped.
One person added that they’d heard it was because of “issues with protected wildlife”.
But Plymouth City Council has confirmed that everything is going according to plan.
A spokesperson said: “Works to re-route utilities, such as power and broadband, are due to start in the coming weeks, as planned. No works have been suspended.”
The new £49million Forder Valley Link Road involves moving and raising the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road junction and constructing a bridge to carry the new road over the Bircham Valley and Derriford Community Park.
Roadworks at the junction will be carried out in five phases with the closure of Forder Valley Road West next summer for 17 months with traffic diverted via the A38 and Manadon.
It will remain closed from autumn 2020 when traffic will start using the new junction and the repositioned Novorossiysk Road, eventually reopening in the autumn of 2021.
From winter 2021 the new junction is due to be fully open to traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists while final construction work takes place ahead of the link road opening in the spring of 2022.
City council transport officers leading the link road project said the environment and wildlife in the area would be protected during the works with a series of special measures, including safeguarding flight paths for foraging bats.
There was concern on social media about the effect on wildlife of tree clearance earlier this year.
Strategic transport manager Sally Farley said the clearance work had to go ahead at that time to avoid the bird nesting season.
Although 450 trees had been lost, the overall scheme would result in 14,500 new trees being planted and an overall improvement in biodiversity in the area.
There will be a new pond and improved wildlife habitats, and the construction work will be monitored by an environmental team. The new link will include a network of walking and cycling routes.
It will join the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road junction with William Prance Road in Derriford.
The road is designed to provide an alternative route to the north of the city and Derriford, diverting traffic from the A386 Tavistock Road and Manadon roundabout.
The project fits in with a network of other transport improvements to unlock the growth of thousands of homes and jobs in the north of the city.
It will also link the Derriford area and its key destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park, with new homes east of the city at Sherford.
Work taking place this summer includes setting up site offices, building an access road, final ground and archaeological investigations and diverting utilities such as telecoms, power and water.
The main construction work on the bridge and junction is expected to start in the autumn.