The £15 million eastern relief road in Bury St Edmunds has officially opened - paving the way for thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new homes.
The road, called Rougham Tower Avenue, links Skyliner Way and the Suffolk Business Park site on Moreton Hall to junction 45 of the A14 at Rougham.
It unlocks a 67-hectare area for business development creating the potential for 15,000 new jobs and helps deliver 500 new homes.
Construction on the road, which is more than a mile long, began in March 2016 and was funded by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.
Cllr Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “The opening of this road is a momentous occasion.
“It underlines our commitment to investing in our great county, bringing development and jobs to the area.
“We and our partners have worked extremely hard in bringing this road to Bury.
“While it only looks like we’ve laid tarmac, the benefits of this road are far greater – to the sum of millions of pounds and thousands of jobs.”
The opening of the road allows for the next phase of work to finalise the pedestrian and cycle provision along the new route and in General Castle Way. The work should be completed by October 13.
Doug Field, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Eastern Relief Road was one of our priority projects in our first Growth deal bid to Government back in 2014.
“To see it come to fruition is testament to all the hard work we and our local partners have put into these plans.
“This road will bring enormous social and economic benefits to the area for many years to come, with new businesses, jobs and homes.
“It will also unlock further investment on our Enterprise Zone site at Suffolk Business Park and making Bury an even greater place to live and work.”
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “I am delighted and proud that this road, which has long been an ambition of St Edmundsbury, has now opened to traffic.
“We invested £3 million ourselves and worked hard to secure funding from the LEP and County Council to bring this to fruition.
“This is part of a number of initiatives we are carrying out across the area to attracts millions of pounds of investment, new jobs and much needed homes.
“This road will enable the growth of thousands of new jobs at the Suffolk Business Park which is already attracting interest from successful local companies who want to expand without having to relocate from the area.
“It will encourage new businesses into West Suffolk, and enhance the variety of employment on offer to help young people and graduates remain here in West Suffolk.
“On top of this, it is a road that helps deliver 500 new homes including much needed affordable housing, giving more people the chance to stay and work where they grew up.
“It will also bring much wider benefits to our families and communities for years to come, relieving some of the local congestion and providing better access to The Sybil Andrews Academy and the community leisure facilities that are based there.
“So I am delighted that our innovation and the hard work of all of the project partners in the delivery of this road, has paid off and look forward to the success and prosperity that it will help bring to the area.”
John Breheny, chairman of Breheny Civil Engineering which built the road, added: “I am delighted the road is open and hopefully it will lead to good quality businesses and jobs moving into Bury St Edmunds.”