Highways England has unveiled the details for a £27.4bn ($35.9bn) investment in the UK’s strategic road network.

Projects worth £14bn ($18.3bn) aim to improve the quality, capacity and safety of the country’s motorways and major A roads.

Approximately £11bn ($14.4bn) will be invested towards repairing and replacing the network of roads.

The development project will support 64,000 construction jobs, boosting the nation’s economy.

Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan said: “Our network is a vital part of everyone’s life. It has served the country well during the pandemic, keeping supermarket shelves stocked and enabling key workers to get where they need to be.

“Over the next five years we will increase capacity where it is most needed and continue to upgrade more of the network, which has suffered from decades of under-investment.”

Highways England will deliver the government’s second Road Investment Strategy with more than 50 upgrades.

Investment worth £1bn ($1.3bn) will improve road connections, reducing journey times and enhancing access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

The project aims to save the country’s biodiversity, reduce noise pollution generated near houses and develop a pipeline of 30 schemes for potential construction post 2025.

To increase connectivity within the UK, a new road and tunnel under the Thames between Essex and Kent will be built. It will add travel capacity and reduce journey time between the Channel ports and the rest of the country.

An upgrade of the A66 will improve connections between ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland and at Hull and Felixstowe in England.

A major direct route between the South East and South West will also be enhanced.

Other major upgrades involve enhancing access to the Port of Liverpool, adding capacity on the A19 in Sunderland, improving journey times and adding facilities for walkers and cyclists on the A38, and improvements to the A12 in the East.

The company will resurface nearly 5,000 lane miles of roads, work on more than 1,000 miles of safety barriers on motorways and dual carriageways and renew more than 170 bridges and other structures.

Ageing concrete sections on the A14, M5, M18, M20, M42, M54 and M56 will also be replaced.