Final bill for Norwich Northern Distributor Road due to be revealed
- Credit: Archant
The final bill for the multi-million pound Norwich Northern Distributor Road is likely to be revealed next month.
And council bosses say they remain confident that it will come in within the £205m budget, which councillors agreed to extend after the costs for the 12.5-mile road went up.
Just under a year ago, Norfolk County Council agreed to add an extra £26m to the budget for the road, which stretches from the A47 at Postwick to the east of the city to the A1067 to the west.
Officers had asked for permission to increase the £178.9m budget because contractor Balfour Beatty had pushed up the price because of the extra costs accrued in building the road.
Reasons for the extra costs included: delays in getting the go-ahead to take the road over the railway line at Rackheath; changes in design; increases in the price of buying land and having to spend more than predicted on diverting utilities, such as gas pipes.
Negotiations between the county council and the contractors have been continuing, but the final figure should be known soon - at a time when council committees are having to figure out how to make millions of pounds of savings.
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Tom McCabe, director of community and environmental services at County Hall, was recently asked by councillors about the latest in negotiations.
He said: 'We do not have the final costs yet. We are still in discussions with Balfour Beatty. We expect it to come in within the budget, but discussions are ongoing. I would say it's likely to be known in November, rather than in October.'
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The road, now known as the Broadland Northway, opened in stages. The first section, from the A1067 Fakenham Road to the A140 Cromer Road, opened in November last year.
The stretch from the A140 to Wroxham Road opened the following month and the remaining section to Postwick opened in April this year.
The roundabouts on the road have come in for criticism, with a number of crashes. The council says they have all been designed to national standards and problems are being caused by some drivers not keeping to the speed limit.
But the council last month put up new signs at the Wroxham Road roundabout and repaired damaged signs, fences and kerbs.