Ipswich: Fore street misery edges towards the end as roadworks get underway

AN end is in sight to the road hell imposed on the Fore Street area of the town!

National Grid have now completed their gas main replacement work in the street and have handed over the site to the contractors completing the Travel Ipswich project in the area.

This should be completed by the end of next week – clearing the roads of the blockages which have led to gridlock and misery for thousands of motorists in the Waterfront area of the town.

Work on Fore Street, Star Lane, and Grimwade Street should be completed on Friday week, October 19.

However elsewhere in the town the misery is set to continue.

The junction of Fonnereau Road and Crown Street is set to be closed until the start of December as engineers remodel it and create new pedestrian crossings.

The work will be suspended over the Christmas period, but will restart early in the new year when Soane Street will be closed.

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Meanwhile a spokesman for the borough said National Grid continued to work on replacing gas mains, this time in Chevalier Street and in Norwich Road near the mini-roundabout.

The major Travel Ipswich project at present is the work to flatten the Civic Drive/Princes Street roundabout and convert it into a traffic light-controlled junction.

So far this had not caused as much disruption as had been feared – traffic continued to flow around it and it did not seem to have caused major delays.

This work is due to continue until April, although it will be suspended during December to avoid causing disruption during the Christmas shopping season.

The borough is planning to mark the re-opening of Fore Street by launching a series of special events in the area – similar to those in the St Peter’s Street/St Nicholas Street area of the town.

This will start with a special craft market in the run-up to Christmas and this should be followed up with other similar events in the future.

A borough spokesman said: “Fore Street is one of the most important streets in the town. There are more listed buildings in that street than anywhere else in Ipswich and it is important that people are encouraged to visit that part of the town.

“It is a natural bridge between the town centre and the Waterfront and it has a huge amount to offer. By bringing in special events like markets and food events we hope to really give it a boost once all this work is finished and the paving has been relayed.”

Have the roadworks put you off visiting Ipswich town centre? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk