A £1.7m scheme to widen a busy road near the Norwich Research Park and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will be complete, and the road fully reopened to traffic by approximately 6pm, on Friday 21 September.
A three-quarter-mile stretch of the B1108 Watton Road at Colney, between the A47 and Hethersett Lane junction has seen the previous surface removed, pulverised and replaced with a brand-new surface that is two metres wider than the old road.
Work got underway earlier this year to create the new wider section that has now made room for central hatch markings to separate the lanes of traffic, providing more space at the edge of the road, and slightly wider lanes. A new trod path has also been put in place along the route.
As a result of the work emergency vehicles, particularly ambulances, will now be able to get through, and drivers will be able to pass cyclists more safely, when there is heavy traffic on the road that has become increasingly busy in recent years.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “This stretch of road wasn’t designed to carry the volume of traffic it does now, so this is important work to keep all the people who use it safe, as well as help blue light vehicles respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.
“I’m really grateful to everyone for their patience while this improvement work has been carried out. I’m looking forward to seeing the new road complete as it should make journeys along it both easier and safer.”
Some finishing touches including tree planting will be carried out in due course however there will not be a need for any additional lane closures for this work to take place. Although a number of trees were removed to allow the road to be widened the County Council intends to replant at least as many trees as were removed.
While work on site has run to schedule the programme for the scheme was extended by a few days as the road was reopened to support the Sweet Briar Road Roundabout surfacing works in May, and for the two days of the Royal Norfolk Show.
To minimise disruption in the area some routine resurfacing of nearby roads was also carried out while work was underway on the road widening scheme.
Preparatory work on the scheme began in January 2018 and the widening work started on 26 March.
In addition, at a date yet to be set, approximately two trees that are structurally unsound require removal in the area – this work is due to be carried out early one morning, at a weekend, to minimise disruption. Temporary traffic lights will be required and the road will need to be closed for approximately 10 minutes to allow the work to safely take place.