Cold snap puts paid to surfacing work on Norwich Northern Distributor Road

PUBLISHED: 13:17 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 February 2018

The cold snap put paid to plans to surface part of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road this week. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The cold snap put paid to plans to surface part of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road this week. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The weather front dubbed ‘the Beast from the East’ has put paid to a week of scheduled surfacing work on the still-to-be-completed Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

And bosses at Norfolk County Council are hoping the cold snap will not go on much longer, as it could be a major snag in their hopes of getting the road completely open.

Contractors Tarmac had planned to spend the week working on surfacing unopened sections of the 12.5 mile road, between Plumstead Road and Postwick.

But with the temperatures plummeting to below zero and snow showers in Norwich, the decision was taken to cancel this week’s work.

John Birchall, community liaison officer for the Northern Distributor Road, said: “At the end of last week, Tarmac had produced a programme of work, but even by the end of last week it starting to become apparent that it was going to be too cold.

“On Monday the decision was taken to abandon the plans. When you are surfacing a road, you can’t do it when it’s too cold as the asphalt needs to be hot enough and not cool too quickly.”

The sections of the dual carriageway road between the A1067 and the A1151 Wroxham Road are open, but the remaining part between the A1151 and Postwick is not yet completed.

Council bosses have been hoping that will be complete by Easter.

Mr Birchall said: “Losing a week is obviously unfortunate, but probably manageable. But we don’t really want this sort of weather to continue for much longer.”

The sections of the NDR which are open have been added to Norfolk County Council’s gritting routes.

The final bill for the road, which will stretch from the A1067 Fakenham Road to the A47 at Postwick when complete is estimated to be at least £205m, with County Hall set to borrow to cover the higher than budgeted cost.

Supporters of the road say it will bring an economic boost to the region and ease pressure on existing roads, but critics say money would have been better spent on public transport improvements and say it will lead to more of the county’s countryside being concreted over.

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