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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Carlisle 'bypass' to open on Tuesday

The long-awaited Carlisle Northern Development Route is to open on Tuesday.

The 5.1-mile link from M6 junction 44 at Kingstown to the A595 at Newby West was due to open early in April this year.

But contractor Birse Civil has completed the job ahead of schedule.

Cumbria County Council was today announcing the opening at its cabinet meeting.

The first section, between junction 44 at Kingstown and Kingmoor Park, opened last August.

When the full route opens motorists travelling from the west will be able to reach the M6 and the A689 and ultimately the A69 without travelling through Carlisle city centre.

The council forecasts a significant fall in traffic volumes on Wigton Road, Castle Way, Scotland Road and Kingstown Road as a result.

The Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) is part of a £176 million Private Finance Initiative scheme.

This also covers construction of the road and its maintenance for 30 years along with maintenance of 92 miles of the A7, A594, A595, A596, A689 and A6071.

The CNDR skirts the west of the city crossing Orton Road, Moorhouse Road and Burgh Road.

There are be nine roundabouts, bridges over the River Eden and West Coast Main Line railway and a cyclepath/footway throughout.

Councillors recently approved the proposals for a 40mph speed on the section between the M6 and Kingmoor Park.

The national 60mph speed limit will apply on the rest of the route.

The CNDR project has not been straightforward.

The crossing over the River Eden had to be redesigned in the wake of the 2005 floods.

Costs soared as a result requiring the Treasury to approve extra cash.

Then Dexia, the Franco-Belgian bank that was putting up the money, was hit by the global credit crunch.

Barclays, National Australia Bank and SMBC stepped in instead.

Work was delayed to allow a team of ecologists to remove great-crested newts.

Construction work finally began in the autumn of 2009. Around 170 people were employed on the project.

An intensive engineering operation was required to replace Kingmoor railway bridge in just 58.5 hours.

A 40-strong team had to work around the clock over the Christmas holiday in 2009 to bring the old bridge down while the West Coast Main Line was closed.



Will the pageant raise the profile of the city beyond Carlisle?



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