Major road tunnels near completion

Motorists will soon be able to drive through Britain's longest under-land road tunnels between London and Portsmouth.

The two tunnels under the Devil's Punch Bowl, in Surrey, are nearing competition, the Highways Agency said

The work is part of a £371 million project to replace the single carriageway along the A3 with a two-lane section to tackle traffic congestion around Hindhead.

Scheduled for completion in August next year, the new road is expected to not only reduce journey times through Surrey, but also help preserve one of the country's most acclaimed beauty spots.

The Devil's Punch Bowl is a natural amphitheatre created by springs cutting into soft rock and is the largest such feature in Britain.

There are many legends associated with it, one of which describes it as having been formed when the devil scooped up handfuls of earth to throw at the god Thor to annoy him. It has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Highways Agency project manager Paul Arnold said: "Since we broke through the tunnel in 2009, the plans are becoming a reality, and while there is more work to be done before the end of the project, drivers won't have to wait long before they can fully use the new road."

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