Watch as the first of five pairs of 80-tonne steel beams are placed on sixth Northern Distributor Road bridge
PUBLISHED: 17:22 09 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 31 July 2017
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The first of ten massive beams, which will form part of a bridge carrying the Norwich Northern Distributor Road over the railway, were put into place this morning.
By 7am today (Sunday), two of the five braced pairs had already been lifted and attached, with the three remaining put in place by 5pm..
The road closure that has been in place while the beams were put in place is expected to be lifted by 10pm, once other associated work is completed and the road cleared.
Due to the good weather forecast – the critical factor being wind strength – the 1,000 tonne crane being used to lift each pair of 80 tonne beams was able to start work. The crane arrived with its ten support waggons early on Friday.
If all goes to plan, the railway bridge will be the sixth bridge out of eight on the 20km route of the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road to have its main beams in place.
Reinforced concrete beams are already on at Marriott’s Way, the A140 Cromer Road, Buxton Road and Plumstead Road, and at Bell Farm Track near Reepham Road.
The delivery of the 42m steel beams for the bridge, which will carry the £178.5m road over the Norwich to Sheringham railway, arrived at Plumstead Road near Rackheath last month.
The beams, which arrived in halves, were transported from Middlesbrough and travelled along the A1, A47 and B1140, through Panxworth, before the reaching the bridge site from Plumstead Road.
Bittern Line trains are currently cancelled between Norwich and north Norfolk, while the beams are hoisted into place, and have been replaced by buses.
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.
The junction with the A140 Cromer Road, with bridge, slip roads and two roundabouts, enters a key phase this week with a four-day closure of Holt Road from the early hours of tomorrow morning (Monday, April 10).
Drayton Lane South will remain closed until May 5 so roundabouts can be installed.
Reepham Road will be shut 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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