Four-week road closure needed for Norwich Northern Distributor Road work

PUBLISHED: 17:24 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:08 11 January 2018

Parts of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road are open to traffic. 

Parts of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road are open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A road will shut for four weeks because of work on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road – and poor weather has hampered progress towards a March opening date for the project.

Work on the road has been going on for two years and two-thirds of it is now open, with work on the section between the A1151 Wroxham Road and the A47 at Postwick continuing.

Norfolk County Council hopes the final section will open by March, but said progress had been slowed because of rain, snow and freezing temperatures in the run-up to Christmas.

But they intend to push ahead with a four-week closure of Plumstead Road, between Thorpe End and The Plumsteads, from Monday.

That closure is so that Plumstead Road can be realigned to connect with a new roundabout which, in turn, connects via a link road to the main NDR roundabout.

John Birchall, the council’s NDR liaison officer, said: “The closure has to be for four weeks because the realignment of Plumstead Road extends right back to the bridge under the NDR in one direction, and towards the Broad Lane junction in the other.

“Temporary traffic lights cannot be used because of the nearby Plumstead Road level crossing, so the road has to be closed. As always, if we can open early, we will.”

The council has apologised to people living in the area, because hopes that the currently closed Middle Road, between Thorpe End and Great Plumstead, would be open by now were dashed.

Mr Birchall said: “The rain, hail and snow arrived before the earthworks on the approach embankments had been fully compacted and protected by base asphalt layers.

“Since then there has been further very wet weather, preventing completion of the embankments – compaction is impossible while it is so wet.

“It’s not something that we wanted to happen, and we are now excavating the saturated material to try to hit the target of opening Middle Road in February.”

He said waiting until Middle Road reopens before starting the Plumstead Road work would have “serious implications” for completing the NDR.

In the meantime, the marked diversion will be via Salhouse Road, although Low Road and Smee Lane, earmarked for closure in the longer-term, will remain open for local traffic.

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