Disruption for drivers as Grapes Hill roundabout work overruns

Grapes Hill roundabout, Norwich. Roadworks will begin on Monday.Photo: Bill DarnellCopy: For:

The £330k work on Grapes Hill roundabout has overrun. - Credit: Bill Darnell

Drivers are facing further frustration because resurfacing work as part of a revamp of one of Norwich's busiest roundabouts has overrun.

Work to make changes to Grapes Hill roundabout and nearby Cleveland Road began at the end of August and is nearing completion.

But one of the last pieces of work on the £330,000 revamp was for resurfacing and road marking work - which meant the entire roundabout was shut on Saturday and Sunday night.

The roads for traffic heading southbound, towards Chantry Place shopping centre, reopened on Monday morning, as planned.

Grapes Hill and Chapelfield roadworksByline: Sonya Duncan

A breakdown on a machine at Tarmac's Trowse headquarters meant work on Grapes Hill had to be halted. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

But a breakdown on a machine at Tarmac’s surfacing plant in Trowse, where the aggregate to surface the road is mixed, meant the work had to be temporarily stopped.

That means the roundabout remains shut for traffic heading northbound, towards Dereham Road, until 6.30am on Wednesday morning, rather than the intended time of 6.30am on Tuesday.

The official diversion is via the A11 Newmarket Road and A140 outer ring road.

And Convent Road, which connects Grapes Hill to Unthank Road and Earlham Road, will remain closed in both directions until 6.30am on Friday, rather than 6.30am on Thursday.

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That means traffic wanting to get on to Unthank Road and Earlham Road has to use the A140 outer ring road to reach those destinations.

Cleveland Road remains one-way-only eastbound, heading away from the roundabout, until the scheme is complete towards the end of November.

The diversion for that is via St Giles Street and Exchange Street.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "A breakdown at the contractor’s surfacing plant today has delayed Grapes Hill improvements by an extra day.

"Every effort is being made to complete works as quickly as possible and we thank the public for their patience."

First buses tweeted the overrunning work would mean passengers for red and orange line buses towards the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Dereham Road and Costessey would need to keep using a temporary stop on Bank Plain, rather than boarding at Castle Meadow or Theatre Street.

Council officers say, when complete, the scheme will improve safety and ease congestion, but Norwich Cycling Campaign warned it would make the area less safe for cyclists.

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