Welcome as £4.6m roadworks come to an end after more than a year
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
More than a year of work on a Norwich road has come to an end, with council leaders saying the £4.6m scheme will cut congestion and make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Work to widen the A1074 Dereham Road, between the Longwater Lane junction and Britannia Way in Costessey, started in February last year.
The work, which council bosses said was needed to increase capacity to deal with planned housing growth in the area has now finished.
Dereham Road has been widened to take four lanes of traffic. Other work has seen a new two stage traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing installed and pedestrian and cycle paths linked into existing routes.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "This is another scheme we have successfully delivered thanks to money we've been able to bring in from developers and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
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"With the transport improvements now complete we will return later in the year to plant 290 trees to replace those that sadly had to be removed to allow the scheme to take place.
"Cutting congestion on this key section of Dereham Road used by over 26,000 vehicles a day was vital. We've brought the route up to a standard which can cope with the increase in traffic both now and into the future."
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The improvements have been funded by local developers and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's Local Growth Fund.
Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey, said: "Local people have had to face daily issues with the growth of traffic on Dereham Road.
"The project will hugely benefit everyone who lives in Costessey and help vehicles flow through this busy route and I know everyone who uses the bus stop near the Roundwell medical centre will be grateful that this project has allowed us to fix the flooding problems on the road outside."
Doug Field, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Widening the roads and improving the traffic situation for cyclists and pedestrians here are important infrastructure changes that will make a difference to people's lives on a daily basis.
"The LEP invests in areas where growth takes place through the government's growth deal programme ensuring residents and businesses can benefit from the enhancements. This project will deliver on these aims and we much welcome the timely finish."
What work has been done?
Dereham Road has been widened between its junction with Britannia Way and its junction with Longwater Lane, with two lanes provided in both directions. The speed limit remains at 40mph.
Longwater Lane junction
Road markings on the Longwater Lane approach have been amended to allow traffic in both lanes to turn right onto Dereham Road.
Pedestrian crossing at Lord Nelson Drive junction
A new Toucan crossing has been built to replace the existing crossing. The new crossing allows people to cross in two stages with a large central island to make getting across the new wider road both easier and safer.
Roundwell Park travellers site access
For safety reasons and to reduce delays on this very busy section of road, the access to the site has been made suitable for left-in and left-out movements only. This means people going to the site will be able to turn left only from Dereham Road into the site. Vehicles leaving the site will be able to access Dereham Road by turning left only.
Cycling and walking
The existing pedestrian and cycleway has been retained along the north side of Dereham Road and connected onto existing routes.
Improvements have been made to the drainage in the area which includes tackling the known issue near the Roundwell medical centre, which saw surface water accumulating during periods of heavy rain.
Due to the road widening works, additional drainage provision was required for the increased catchment area including ditches and soakaways on the south side of the road.
And on the north side of the road the whole verge area in front of the Roundwell medical centre now contains a bank of underground aquacells to take the water swiftly off the road and safely allow it to drain into the ground.
As part of the scheme, some existing trees had to be removed. Council bosses say that was unavoidable due to the constraints of the space available. More new trees will be planted within the area than will be lost.
The high-pressure gas pipeline crossing Dereham Road has been upgraded and diverted.