The budget and time scale for South Devon Link Road is on target, it was revealed to the media this week.
The team behind the £109 million road scheme has said that it has got off to a ‘good start’ and the summer has helped keep the project on track to open in December 2015.
The road, known as Kingskerswell Bypass, is now well under way with up to 200 workers on site, 65 per cent employed locally.
A lot of the major excavating - some 20m deep- has already been done, and by winter the construction will start on the 5.5km dual carriageway.
It’s hoped the road will improve journey times between Newton Abbot and Torquay and will create 7,500 jobs for South Devon.
Jim Watson, from contractor Galliford Try, said: “You should see some activity at Penn Inn roundabout in the next couple of weeks and we’ve got more excavating to do before we start on the construction.
“As well as creating the road we’ve had a lot to deal with in terms of ecology, with moving badgers, slow worms and bats. This is all cleared up now and we’ve even got a culverts for bats to use on their flight path.”
Paul Couttie, project manager for Devon County Council and Torbay Council, who is based on site, said everyday the landscape is changing.
“This summer has helped us get ahead in terms of the earth work and time is money,” said Paul.
“This winter we’ll be focusing on the structure of the road.”
One of the biggest challenges will be putting in a 300m long tunnel over the railway line at Aller, which is used as the Torbay branch line.
“It’s a huge technical challenge,” he said.
Chief engineer Rob Richards, said his main concern throughout the project was dealing with the consultees, including the gas and electricity suppliers and Network Rail.
“We were prepared for the project, but there’s always pipes in locations underground that you didn’t know about, which has been a challenge when we started the project,” he said.
Rob said it’s the biggest scheme to date he’s worked on .
“I’m treating each section as a little project,” he said.
“We’ve got fly overs, bridges, tunnels and culverts, it’s a very large scale construction.”
It was also noted that the £7,000 palm tree at Hamlyn Way roundabout will be relocated as part of the bypass plans.
“It will be put in a pot, nurtured and relocated,” said Mr Richards.
Some of the major works as part of the scheme include a fly over at Penn Inn, the railway tunnel at Aller, a new bridge to carry Maddacombe Road.