May 24 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
THEY have worked through rain, freezing temperatures and snow flurries.
But these new photos show contractors are now putting their foot down to keep the work on the long-awaited dualling of the A11 on track.
The overhead pictures, taken by pilot and photographer Mike Page, reveal how the route along a nine-mile stretch between Fiveways roundabout in Suffolk and Thetford is starting to take shape.
A large amount of clearing has now taken place, allowing a first real impression of the scale of the £134million road improvement project.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency, who said they are working towards a completion date of December 2014, claimed the scheme will “bring a significant boost to the economy, reduce congestion and improve road safety.”
Highways Agency project manager Geoff Chatfield said: “Work on the A11 Fiveways to Thetford dualling is progressing well and on schedule.
“Since the 24 January, when Roads Minister Stephen Hammond MP formally announced the start of construction on the scheme, we have continued to clear the construction site including removing felled trees and mulching branches. This means that the preparations we carried out during the advance works are now more visible from the A11.”
He added: “There have been a number of night-time road closures in recent weeks to allow us to start diverting statutory utilities.
“Access to and from the A11 at the B1112 is now closed for the construction of the underpass. The remainder of the B1112 from Eriswell to Icklingham remains open for local access from the A1065 at Eriswell and the A1101 at Icklingham. A temporary 40mph speed restriction is in place along the B1112 for safety reasons.
“The C616 has also been closed to prevent direct access onto the A11 during construction. The Household Waste Recycling Centre, Anglian Water facility and the private farm will only be accessible from the A1065. Once the scheme is completed, access onto the new dual carriageway will no longer be possible from the C616 for safety reasons.
“Over the next month, we will continue to strip topsoil in the vicinity of the war memorial where the Non Motorised User (NMU) underpass will be situated; there will be large scale excavation at the B1112 ahead of the new underpass being constructed; and we will continue to divert statutory utilities.”
Mr Chatfield said: “All A11 lay-bys along the scheme will gradually be closed, with clear advance warning signs. Plant crossings will be set up to allow HGVs to carry construction materials safely across the A11 using temporary two-way traffic signals. And a temporary 40 mph speed restriction will remain in place 24 hours a day between the Fiveways roundabout (Barton Mills) and the Thetford roundabout for safety reasons. Traffic management, which includes road signs and traffic signals, will be used to protect the safety of workers and road users.”
Updates on road closures and diversion routes are available on our website at www.highways.gov.uk/a11fiveways-to-thetford.