CONSTRUCTION of the long-awaited £6.2million Dawlish link road and bridge will start later this month and is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

Following a competitive tender, Montel Civil Engineering has been appointed to undertake the work and all contracts necessary for the project to progress have now been signed with landowners and developers.

The new link road and an associated bridge over Shutterton Brook is part of a scheme for 860 homes near Secmaton Lane contained in Teignbridge District Council’s current local plan and is a key step in achieving the goal of linking the new homes directly to the A379 Exeter Road.

When complete, construction traffic and traffic from the new homes will head out of Dawlish northwards towards Exeter, rather than going along Elm Grove Road and past two schools.

The link road, which is supported by local people, will provide a bus route, cycling lanes and footpaths, boosting more sustainable transport options.

Local residents can visit the scheme webpage to keep track of the project’s progress.

In line with both Devon and Teignbridge’s commitment to tackling climate change, planning permission for the link road and bridge requires a range of environmental steps to be taken as part of an environmental management plan which has had input from Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Provision has been made in the plans to safeguard bats, dormice, nesting birds, otters and water voles while reusing construction material. Construction itself will, for example, deploy locally sourced materials, reuse materials where possible and will use compacted earth embankments to minimise concrete usage.

Since government funding for the project was first agreed in 2019, planning permission has been granted for homes on either side of the Shutterton Brook and for the proposed bridge.