Fully open: Drivers can now travel all along what was known as the NDR
- Credit: Archant
The final section of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road - now named Broadland Northway - opened to traffic at 6am today.
While two sections of the 12.5 mile road opened before Christmas, transport bosses hopes that the last section, from the A1151 Wroxham Road to the A47 at Postwick would be ready for Easter were dashed.
However, the final three and a quarter miles of the dual carriageway were due to be ready this morning, completing a road which stretches from the A1067 Fakenham Road to the Postwick hub.
Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, said there had been no lack of effort to overcome the setbacks.
But he said that completing the road safely and to a high standard had rightly been the priority for the joint Balfour Beatty and County Council construction team.
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He described the road as 'an important piece in Norfolk's infrastructure jigsaw that will help secure a better, brighter and more prosperous future for Norfolk', but stressed more is still needed, including linking the road to the A47 to the west of Norwich.
He said: 'Broadland Northway is just starting unlock Norfolk's potential. We need to press the government for the earliest possible delivery of improvements to the A47, and to keep focus on our goal of full dualling of the A47, from Lowestoft to the A1 and the Midlands.
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'The county council also has its own priorities – the Norwich Western Link, joining Broadland Northway to the A47 west of Norwich – Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing, and Long Stratton Bypass.'
The final cost of the road is not yet clear, with Norfolk County Council and contractor Balfour Beatty thrashing out the price tag.
Design changes, diverting utilities and land purchase has added costs for the road, which has been given the number A1270.
The £178.5m budget has been exceeded, with councillors increasing the budget. The total bill is estimated at £205m.