Suffolk: Parts of A11 will be open by this summer

Richard Turnbull, Balfour Beatty Project Director, and Geoff Chatfield, Highway’s Agency Projects Ma

Richard Turnbull, Balfour Beatty Project Director, and Geoff Chatfield, Highways Agency Projects Manager, stand on a the A11 lay by at the Elveden War Memorial in Brandon where safety signs light up warning drivers about high-speed. - Credit: Archant

TRAFFIC could be using parts of the improved A11 from as early as June.

Highways bosses made the claim as they unveiled safety measures designed to protect drivers and workers by cutting speed and preventing overtaking on what is one of Suffolk’s busiest roads.

Geoff Chatfield, Highways Agency project manager, said contractors are on target to complete the £134million Fiveways to Thetford improvements and dualling project.

“Things are going well on the A11 scheme at the moment, we are on programme and making good progress. We have done most of the top-soil stripping for the new dual carriageway, a lot of the earthworks are now underway and we are hoping to start building the new carriageways very soon,” he added.

Mr Chatfield said: “We’re hoping to construct the first section of new carriageway and have that completed about June time. “It’s a short section down towards the Fiveways roundabout and it’s part of the contractors’ programme to put traffic on to a section of the new carriageway to enable them to complete the rest of the road.”

Contractors, who have faced heavy rainfall, snow and freezing, have so far managed to work round the weather. Mr Chatfield said: “We’ve had some bad weather over the last month or so, but we have managed that very well. If the ground does get really wet, especially some of the chalky ground, we can’t work - so we reprogram and leave areas until later on.”

The roads boss said it was important that road users considered their own and workers’ safety while using the A11. He added: “Safety is very important for the Highways Agency. The guys around the site are all in high visibility gear and on the road, we have steel barriers to stop road users coming off the road. We have variable signs on site that encourage people to comply with the speed limits, it’s very important.”

Most Read

Mr Chatfield, who said the signs were working, said one of the biggest problems was caused by people overtaking slow-moving traffic and then colliding with oncoming vehicles. He added: “We’ve had a number of fatalities over the last few years and this scheme, we hope, will reduce that considerably.” The 9.1 miles of road is due to be completed by December 2014.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter