By Rebecca Gough
Friday, January 4, 2013
Thousands of Christmas and New Year travellers will have seen preliminary works in preparation for the dualling of the last single-stretch of the A11.
Trees have been felled and cleared, environmental and archaeological works examined, Elveden Estate access tracks resurfaced and ground investigation works carried out as part of the long-awaited project to dual the 9.1 mile (14.6km) stretch of road between the Fiveways roundabout and Thetford.
In the coming weeks, safety barriers will be erected and plant machinery and materials delivered on site for work proper to begin in weeks – certainly before the end of January, as promised by the Highways Agency.
A spokesman said: “As with most construction sites, the team have wound-down for the Christmas and New Year period with limited activity on site. The contractor will be back in earnest from Monday. Main construction work isn’t due to get under way until later on in January, and we will confirm the exact date of that main work as soon as we can.”
She said, before then, the contractor would be working with the agency’s A11 project team to finalise details for traffic management, including a temporary safety barrier which will be installed along the side of the road to protect the workforce.
The main works, estimated to cost between £94m and £114m, will begin with top soil stripping, with the first of nine phases starting at the fiveways roundabout and concentrating on a 0.56-mile (900m) stretch of road. Workmen will begin with the southbound carriageway which motorists will then be moved onto while the northbound side is built.
As previously reported, the first phase is expected to be completed by June, with a further three stages to be finished by the end of this year. The final five will take place in 2014.
Ecological work has been carried out and measures to protect wildlife put in place. About 7.2km of reptile fencing and 3.5km of newt fencing has been installed to protect reptiles and the Great Crested Newt, while, as of October, 250 common lizards, 50 grass snakes, six adders and six Great Crested Newts had been relocated.
Three badger tunnels will be installed with fencing to channel the badgers to the crossing point.
An underpass to take the B1112 beneath the new road will also be built, while the B1106 will pass over the new Elveden Bypass at a two-level junction east of Center Parcs.
There will be an access bridge to help with farming at Canada Drive and Chalk Hall Farm, while an underpass will be incorporated next to the war memorial.
The contractors are being allowed to keep and dispose of the felled trees as part of the agreed contract.
All work is expected to be completed by winter, 2014.
To find out more about the scheme visit www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/a11-fiveways-to-thetford-improvement or contact the project team by calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 or by emailing email@example.com