The £9m stabilisation scheme to protect the main A174 route between Whitby and Sandsend has been officially opened after a long scheme of works which have permanently changed the face of the coastline.
But experts said they were necessary after warning that the road between Whitby and Sandsend would have disappeared into the sea within a few years if nothing had been done.
The work was funded by £4.5m from North Yorkshire County Council and £4.7m from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
On Friday afternoon, representatives from the county council attended the official launch on the beach.
Conducting the opening ceremony, Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said: “I am delighted to see this major investment in my constituency to protect this vital stretch of coastline and the main road that runs alongside it.
“As well as protecting the environment, the work will benefit residents, visitors and the economy.”
During the opening the input of local people was also recognised.
Throughout the project the knowledge of local people in relation to the road and the history of landslips has been taken note of.
Local residents were also thanked for their patience with regards roadworks, temporary traffic lights and works vehicles .
County Councillor David Chance, local member for Whitby Mayfield cum Mulgrave, added: “This was a major civil engineering project, and the county council made sure that we assembled the best team possible.
“But throughout the project the team has been keen to draw upon local expertise and knowledge, whether that has been through employing local tradespeople and professionals, or simply by listening to local people who have offered their perspectives.
“I am certain that this blend of technical expertise and local knowledge has helped us to improve the project at every stage.”
Before the ceremony, a drop-in exhibition detailing the work was held at the Pyman Institute, Sandsend, for the public to speak to members of the project team, including contractor Balfour Beatty, who were keen to hear feedback on the completed project.”
For years there have been studies carried out on the movement of the sea and the effect and consequences that erosion was having on the popular route.