Three months of A47 works

The Highways Agency last night moved to reassure motorists that three months of roadworks on the A47 at Dereham would not cause major hold-ups.The work, to resurface both sides of the dual carriageway as well as the adjoining slip roads and improve the drainage, is due to start on April 11 and should finish around the beginning of July.

The Highways Agency last night moved to reassure motorists that three months of roadworks on the A47 at Dereham would not cause major hold-ups.

The work, to resurface both sides of the dual carriageway as well as the adjoining slip roads and improve the drainage, is due to start on April 11 and should finish around the beginning of July.

The two kilometre section involved runs from the Swaffham end of the dual carriageway at Dereham by the Ascot Gardens subway and carries on eastbound just over one kilometre after the Mattishall Road bridge. The overall objective is to upgrade the roadways and make the surface a lot quieter for locals.

Agency project manager Julian O'Dell said that one carriageway would be closed at a time, starting with the eastbound, and contraflows put in place to keep the flow of traffic going.

He said: “We don't envisage problems because the capacity of the road is generated by the traffic coming out of a single carriageway and with a contraflow in place it just means that it is carried on a bit further.”

They had calculated that at peak times the maximum number of vehicles counted on that stretch was 1000 in an hour and the work they were doing was capable of taking 1200 to 1500 vehicles comfortably.

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The only difficulty to motorists, he said, was where slip roads were closed and diversions put in place.

A 50mph limit will be set through the works and new safety cameras will be installed at the beginning and end of the scheme that calculates a vehicle's average speed.

Mr O'Dell said the project could involve some weekend work and possibly nights and added: “There might be a period when tying in with the single carriageway where we might close the whole road overnight but traffic would be diverted through Dereham.”

A leaflet will be issued locally nearer the time explaining the diversion routes and when slip roads would be closed.