Delays expected as 15 weeks of roadworks begin at new retail park
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Part of a busy road has been temporarily closed as almost 15 weeks of 'extensive' roadworks get under way.
Motorists are being warned that 'delays are likely' as the northern part of Tower Road in south Lowestoft is closed – however businesses on the industrial estate will remain open as usual throughout the works.
Disruption is expected until the middle of April as work progresses on the £9.3m redevelopment of the former Zephyr Cams factory site.
With the site having been derelict for many years after the factory closed in 2002, the new Gateway Retail Park is set to transform the prominent location that fronts the busy roundabout junction of the A12 London Road.
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The 'extensive works,' near to the junction with Cooke Road, will see a new entrance way to the 70,000sq ft retail park created.
Work started on January 7 as Stainforth Construction LLP and Suffolk Highways have agreed 'the working areas with minimum affects to business and congestion on the A12.'
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A spokesman for Stainforth Construction LLP said: 'The works to the new entrances for the development are to take place in two phases to enable access to the existing businesses on Tower Road – Travis Perkins, Topps Tiles, The Bathroom Showroom, City Plumbing and City Heating Repairs – and to remain open throughout.'
The first phase of works – running between January 7 and March 13 – will see the new entrance to the main retail park created with the second phase – taking place from March 14 to April 18 – being a new entrance to the rear service yard.
'All access will be maintained to all businesses on the (South Lowestoft) industrial estate at all times,' the spokesman said.
'The short section of road between the end of Cooke Road and the A12 roundabout will be one way.
'In order to undertake the main entrance works a temporary road closure is to be put in place and a diversion runs throughout the industrial park.'
The rear entrance works being carried out between March and April will see two way traffic lights in operation with the lane nearest the new development to be closed.
The development will eventually see a number of nationally renowned retailers – including a drive-through Costa Coffee, Aldi, The Range and Card Factory – featuring among eight new retail units.
The Gateway Retail Park is set to create up to 155 new jobs and bring an estimated £26m to the area's economy.
With a diversion route in place for the Tower Road works (see the map above), First has announced a change to its 99 bus service.
A statement on the First Norfolk and Suffolk website said: 'Due to the closure of the northern end of Tower Road near to the McDonald's roundabout, service 99 will be diverted from Monday, January 7 for about two months.
'Buses will use A12 in both directions, but still call at Morrisons.
'We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.'