Major work on the £47m Long Stratton bypass will start within months after a contractor was picked to build the new road.

Norfolk County Council revealed it has awarded the multi-million-pound contract to construct the two-and-a-half-mile, single-carriageway A140 bypass to Surrey-based Octavius Infrastructure Limited.

Eastern Daily Press: How Long Stratton bypass could lookHow Long Stratton bypass could look (Image: Norfolk Homes)

Main construction of the single-carriageway road, which would extend east of Long Stratton from a new junction at Church Lane to rejoin the existing A140 near Oakside farm, will start this spring.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Pic: Jamie HoneywoodGraham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Pic: Jamie Honeywood (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Graham Plant, the council's cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "This is another welcome milestone we’ve reached in this vital infrastructure project.

"The road will not only solve the transport issues caused by the bottleneck on the A140 - which is a major local route – but also open up improvements for cycling and walking in and around the town.

"Once in place, the scheme will cut congestion, unlock economic growth, and improve journey times across the county."

The price tag of the road, which is linked to the construction of 1,800 homes on land nearby, has increased in recent years - and the county council is still waiting to see just how much the government will give towards its cost.

The government announced in 2021 it would contribute £26.2m, only for the bill to subsequently rise from £37.4m to £46.2m and now to £46.9m.

The council lodged its full business case to the government last year and is waiting for confirmation of how much Whitehall will provide.

READ MORE: Millions to be borrowed for A140 Long Stratton bypass work

The government is committed to funding at least 70pc of the cost, but County Hall leaders hope they can be persuaded to part with more, which would go alongside money from developer contributions and the Community Infrastructure Levy - a tax on development.

Some preparatory work has already begun, but the main construction work is likely to start in April.

Work is likely to last for 18 months, with the road open to traffic by the end of next year.