Drivers warned huge NDR bridge beams will bring disruption to roads

PUBLISHED: 10:16 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 13 March 2017

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) takes shape. Pic: Mike Page.

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) takes shape. Pic: Mike Page.

Mike Page

Drivers have been warned that they are likely to face disruption this week - when huge steel beams for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road are brought into the county.

And, next month, trains will have to be cancelled between Norwich and north Norfolk for one or two Sundays, while the bridge beams are hoisted into place.

The delivery of the 36.7m steel beams for the bridge, which will carry the £178.5m road over the Norwich to Sheringham railway, had been due last week.

But police elsewhere in the country were unable to provide an escort for the five lorry loads of beams, so they will now travel to the county tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday.

The beams are being transported from Middlesbrough and will travel along the A1, A47 and B1140, through Panxworth, before the reach the bridge site from Plumstead Road.

Plumstead Road will be closed for around 15 minutes for each arrival, which should happen between 12pm and 4pm on each of the days.

The beams - five braced pairs - will arrive in halves and, after assembly on site will be lifted into place on Sunday, April 9 and/or Sunday, April 16.

Bittern Line trains will be replaced by buses on those days.

Meanwhile, a number of road closures, as well as frequent use of temporary signals, will be needed over the coming weeks as construction of the NDR continues.

Closures on Drayton Hall Lane will continue until March 24, for traffic calming work including road narrowing and chicanes.

From Monday, March 20, Drayton Lane South will be closed for seven weeks until May 5 so roundabouts can be installed.

Holt Road will be shut for a week from April 3 until April 7 and Reepham Road for three weeks from April 17 until May 5.

Buxton Road will close for three weeks from May 8 until May 26.

Norfolk County Council and Balfour Beatty apologised for what they described as “unavoidable disruption” to travel during construction of the road.

Once complete, the Northern Distributor Road will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

Supporters say the road will bring an economic boost to the region and reduce rat-running, but critics say it will encourage more car use and house-building in nearby countryside.

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