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Relief road may be finished early

21 July 09 20:41 GMT

Part of the work on the £87m Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset has been completed ahead of schedule, prompting speculation it could be finished early.

A period of good weather has meant construction work on the new route between Weymouth and Dorchester has been completed quicker than planned.

The new road is set to open in 2011 but Skanska, which is building the road, said it may open by late 2010.

It is set to improve access to Weymouth for the 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Willie McCormick, project manager for Skanska, said: "Although we are slightly ahead of schedule at the moment, because of the good weather we've had, weather like today can slow things down.

"We are still planning to be open in spring 2011, but if things go well we may be open by the end of 2010."

The Weymouth Relief Road site attracted much interest last month when archaeologists found an ancient burial pit containing 51 dismembered skeletons.

Skulls, rib cages and leg bones, thought to be from young men, were arranged in separate parts of the pit.

Initially, it was thought the burial site on Ridgeway Hill, near Weymouth, dated from the Iron Age (from BC 800) to early Roman times (from AD 43).

But radio carbon dating showed the remains dated between AD 890 and AD 1030.

Archaeologists said they appeared to have been victims of a "catastrophic event" such as a mass execution.

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