Designers, surveyors and engineers have been carrying out specialist work as a £1 billion project to transform Trans-Pennine journeys takes shape.
Dualling the remaining, congested sections of the A66 will provide quicker, safer and more reliable journeys across the Pennines between the M6 and A1(M).
Next week communities along the route of the A66 will be able to find out the latest update on the project when new videos, web chats and brochures about the major upgrade go live.
All remaining single carriageway sections - totalling 18 miles - of the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner will be dualled in the £1 billion plans.
Meanwhile, since the summer teams of designers have been looking at the road and its junctions to determine what improvement are needed. Environmental specialists have also been carrying out surveys to gain a greater understanding of the ecology and heritage in the area. And this winter ground investigation surveys will take place to look at the ground and soil conditions.
With Highways England on track to get the ball rolling next spring on the planning process for the transformation of the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner, now is a great time for residents to find out more about what work has been taking place over the last few months, and what’s next.
Senior project manager Matt Townsend said: "We have been working hard over the summer and autumn, prepping for consultation in spring next year. We are committed to building on the positive relationships we have with communities that live along the route.
"In normal circumstances, we would organise local events and update local communities face to face. That’s not possible right now due to the current pandemic and we are therefore having to do things differently.
"We know that local people are keen to understand the junction designs and layouts better and find out how they can access and travel along the A66. We are therefore providing a full project update online from next Monday where people can view plans, watch videos and read our update."
The new brochure will go ‘live’ on 16 November alongside a new ‘What’s next?’ video setting out next steps for the project before the public consultation.
Anyone who is unable to go online to get the latest information is being advised to contact the project team on 0333 090 1192.
The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project is the biggest ever investment in a single road project in the north and will transform cross-country journeys – supporting Northern Powerhouse aspirations for better, less-congested connections and economic prosperity and sustainability.
Plans to dual the remaining 18 miles of the 50-mile road were unveiled in May. The transformation includes new bypasses, dualling alongside existing sections of road and major junction improvements.
As well as benefiting local people, the upgrade will support tourism and freight traffic, improving connections between ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland and those in England at Hull and Felixstowe. Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will also benefit from safer, better-connected facilities.