Construction of a new dual two-lane route to bypass Great Barford to the north, connecting with the existing A421 Bedford Bypass. This scheme ties in with planned improvements west of Bedford, with the end result of a dualled and grade separated route from the M1 at Milton Keynes to the A1.
The route will terminate on the A1 at the existing Black Cat Roundabout which will be made slightly larger - it is not widely thought that this will be adequate considering the extra traffic that the improvements will bring. Some sources claim that this was done because there is still a possibility of the A1 being upgraded to motorway at some point in the future, in which case the junction would be replaced.
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Preparatory works are underway. Despite much local support for the Bypass, there is concern over the rising costs and delays surrounding the project, originally costed at Â£38m.
Protesters make the news by chaining themselves to bulldozers and building tree houses to try to halt work on the new route.
The contractor has announced that they are working well within the schedule and should complete the works ahead of the Autumn 2006 target date. Work is well underway on the bypass.
Construction is now well under way, with temporary road alignments making the original layouts unrecognisable at the Black Cat (A1) and Bedford Southern Bypass. The black cat sculpture itself has gone mysteriously missing.
The bypass is opened on 24 August by roads minister Stephen Ladyman.