A new £110m bypass that is expected to carry 35,000 vehicles a day has been opened, helping to deliver better journeys for road users in the south west.
The new 3.5 mile South Devon Highway is expected to create hundreds of jobs and benefit the tourism industry, in a major boost to the local economy.
The road between Torbay and Newton Abbot was officially opened by Roads Minister Andrew Jones on 22 February 2016.
The project was completed on time and on budget and is expected to deliver a near £1bn return on the £110m investment.
A team of 2,600 workers — half of whom were thought to be from the local area — spent nearly 1.5 million hours working on the project over the 42 month building period that finished last December.
The road, bypasses the village of Kingskerswell, moving congestion away from the centre.
An estimated 1 million vehicles per month previously passed through the village, with the vast majority now using the new highway, the A380.
In total there are 9 bridges along the route, with around 4,000 metres of retaining walls and 9 major culverts. One 270 metre long railway tunnel was built as part of the project.
The new South Devon Highway is expected to save local residents and businesses up to 15 minutes each day — but more importantly removes the unpredictable nature of having to travel through congested local villages.
The Department for Transport paid around £76m for the £110m project, with the balance being shared equally between Torbay Council and Devon County Council, with Teignbridge District Council making a £500,000 contribution.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Better infrastructure is vital to improve people’s lives in the south west, and this new link road is doing exactly that by making local journeys quicker and easier.
“After a tireless local campaign we pledged new funding to make this important project a reality, and today’s announcement shows we have delivered on our promise.
“This government is determined to get Britain building again which is why in my Spending Review I set out how we will invest over £100bn in the UK’s infrastructure.”