Road reopens after three years as railway bridge is replaced

Network Rail have completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was...

Network Rail has completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was damaged by a vehicle in 2017. - Credit: Network Rail

A road which has been closed for more than three years has finally reopened after a railway bridge was replaced. 

Network Rail has completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was damaged in a crash in 2017. 

The damaged rail bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton.

The damaged rail bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton. - Credit: Simon Parkin

The bridge carries the road over the busy Norwich to Thetford rail line between Harling Road and Eccles Road stations and was damaged beyond repair in the incident. 

The bridge replacement came two years earlier than expected, after South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss branded it “unacceptable” that drivers would have to wait five years for it to reopen. 

Work to repair the bridge was originally predicted to take place in 2022, but started in October last year.

Network Rail have completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was...

Network Rail have completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was damaged in a road traffic incident in 2017.  - Credit: Network Rail

On Sunday, January 31, Network Rail also completed work to replace the bridge at Postwick, which began in November last year. 

The bridge carries the line from Norwich to Yarmouth over Oaks Lane and was in need of repair.

The road at Eccles Heath has reopened after three years of closure, but the road at Postwick remains closed for unrelated works nearby. 

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The replacements bring both bridges up to modern safety standards which are necessary in order to continue the safe running of rail services, avoiding the need for speed restrictions.  

Both bridges are expected to last more than a hundred years. 

Network Rail have completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was...

Network Rail have completed works to replace the bridge at Eccles Heath, between Attleborough and Snetterton, which was damaged in a road traffic incident in 2017.  - Credit: Network Rail

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director, said: “The work to replace these bridges was absolutely necessary to continue to run a safe and reliable service as well as keeping pedestrians and motorists safe.  

These two new bridges now meet the modern standards that are necessary on our busy network and are ready to serve their communities.” 

Jamie Bules, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “The completion of this work will help us improve punctuality and performance on our rural lines between Norwich and Cambridge, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.  

“We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work was carried out. 

“Government advice at the moment is to stay at home and to only travel for essential reasons such as work, medical appointments and other legally permissible reasons.  

“Our Safer Travel pledge highlights everything we are currently doing to help keep customers safe while travelling with us.”  


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