UK’s biggest road upgrade reveals one of the largest archaeological projects undertaken in UK history
28 March 2018
Archaeologists working on the A14, the biggest road project currently under construction in the UK, have discovered a Roman trade distribution centre, an abandoned medieval village and three prehistoric monuments, among many other nationally significant archaeological discoveries.
In total, approximately 350 hectares have been excavated on sites spanning Highways England’s £1.5bn scheme to upgrade the A14 between Cambridge to Huntingdon, which is being delivered by the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) comprised of Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Costain, CH2M and Atkins.
As archaeological excavation works on the project near completion, the project has seen over 250 archaeologists excavate more than 40 separate areas, uncovering new information about how the Cambridgeshire landscape was used during the past 6,000 years.
Julian Lamb, Construction Director of the A14 IDT, commented: “This is a truly significant find for the project, revealing previously unknown historical insights. We are delighted to share the findings with the local community, and by working closely with the archaeologists, we can ensure the construction of the A14 scheme is mindful of Cambridgeshire’s history whilst celebrating the varied uses of the land over 6,000 years.”
Dr. Steve Sherlock, archaeology lead for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project for, said: “Highways England is delivering the biggest roads investment in a generation, and we are committed to conserving, and where possible enhancing, the historic environment.
“In the context of a project like the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvements, that means undertaking archaeological excavations to ensure we record any significant remains that lie along the 21-mile route. The archive of finds, samples and original records will be stored so that the data and knowledge is preserved for this and future generations.
“We now have the evidence to rewrite both the prehistoric and historic records of the area for the last 6,000 years.”
To find out more about the project’s discoveries, click here.
Image: Neolithic henge monument being excavated on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme. Credit: Highways England
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 28,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK & Ireland, US and Far East. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty’s highways business designs, constructs and manages many of the UK’s major highways. The business also delivers complex Design Build Finance Operate and Early Contractor Involvement schemes.
- Through constant innovation and the use of cutting-edge technology, Balfour Beatty supports clients to deliver optimal highways experiences to the travelling public, better connecting communities and creating more reliable and safer journeys. From project conception through to completion, Balfour Beatty has a continued focus on future proofing its schemes. This includes creating smart motorways and preparing routes to welcome autonomous vehicles.
- Current projects include Balfour Beatty’s £292m construction contract to widen a critical and complex 10-mile stretch of the existing A14, as part of Highways England’s £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme. The team also has extensive experience of using the latest technology to tackle congestion and is working towards the completion of Manchester Smart Motorway scheme M62 junctions 18-20 and M60 junctions 8-10.
- Recently completed Highways schemes include the £70m dualling scheme to upgrade a 2.5 mile section of the A21 in Kent from single to dual carriageway. The project has delivered a safer and more streamlined route for the travelling public, also supporting the local economy in this area of Kent.