December 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Work to improve the worn out surface at the Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich is to start next week - and will cost £650,000.
The Highways Agency is due to start the work on Monday to resurface the roads around the roundabout and the slip roads on and off the A11 and A47.
The road markings, which are barely visible on parts of the roundabout, will also be restored, with Highways Agency bosses saying it will help to maintain safe and reliable journeys on one of the county’s key routes.
Martin Oliver, Highways Agency project sponsor, said: “The road surface at the Thickthorn roundabout is poor and needs replacing.
“This work will result in improved journeys, while renewed white lines and directional markings will improve lane discipline and reduce the risk of accidents.”
The work, which will start on Monday so long as the weather permits it, will last until March 6.
It will take place overnight between 8pm and 6am, when there is least traffic.
To ensure the work can be carried out safely for road users, there will be 50mph speed restrictions, and specific lanes or carriageways will be closed.
Highways Agency bosses said that, where full carriageway closures are necessary, clearly-signposted diversions will be in place.
They urged road users who might be affected by the work are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time to travel, and are asked to approach the area with care.
Last month Norfolk County Council said it was keen to see work on the junction carried out as soon as possible.
It was also revealed last month that a £50m bypass, tunnelling under the A11 and over the A47, could be created to ease the pressure on the Thickthorn roundabout.
The radical proposals have been drawn up as council bosses look to find a long-term solution for the roundabout, which is one of the county’s busiest.
Consultants Mott McDonald came up with a number of schemes, but the one they identified as the best solution is for a £51m project which would see a new tunnel created under the A11 and a new bridge over the A47 southern bypass.
A new slip road would come off the Norwich-bound A11 approaching the roundabout and go under the A11, before sweeping over the bridge over the southern bypass and joining up with the Round House roundabout near Cringleford.
Traffic heading out of Norwich would have the option of coming off the Round House roundabout, crossing the A47 over the new bridge and joining the A11 beyond Thickthorn roundabout.
The council acknowledges it will have to convince the government to get the money for the scheme, but is ready to spend between £800k and £1m for a further two-year feasibility study into the bypass and other options.