Everything you need to know about the Sweet Briar Road closure

Police at the site of the burst water main at the bridge over Marriotts Way on Sweetbriar Road. Pict

Police near the burst water main at Sweet Briar Road which has led to the closure - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

For months, roads west and north of Norwich have been snarled up due to the closure of Sweet Briar Road. 

The major route into the Fine City has been closed since mid-February after a section of earth beneath the road shifted.

And the road is expected to open in less than two weeks time.

Here's a run down of what drivers need to know until then - including diversions and delays.

Why is Sweet Briar Road shut?

A burst water main running underneath Sweet Briar Road closed the busy city ring road on February 17.

Sweet Briar Road remains closed after a bridge partially collapsed.

Sweet Briar Road remains closed after the embankment partially collapsed - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

The burst main caused a section of the bank underneath Sweet Briar Road to wash away, making the road above unsafe and left homes in the immediate area without water.

When will it reopen?

The latest news from Anglian Water is that the road will reopen before the end of the month - although a specific date has not been confirmed.

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Repairs to the water main, as well as the damaged bank, is still being completed.

The new pipeline section has been laid at Sweet Briar Road, as works continue to secure the damaged embankment

The new pipeline section has been laid at Sweet Briar Road, as works continue to secure the damaged embankment and reopen the busy city thoroughfare - Credit: Anglian Water

Why have the works taken so long?

An Anglian Water spokeswoman explained that Sweet Briar Road requires "an incredibly complex repair" which has required "stringent health and safety measures be put in place" before work could begin.

At the start of April, Anglian Water stated that there was "no clear timescale" as to when works would be completed.

But, with the initial work on the embankment now completed, work has begun to replace the damaged pipe and resurface parts of the road that were damaged or taken up during the repairs.

The south view of Sweet Briar Road where Anglian Water continues to work to reopen the busy highway

The south view of Sweet Briar Road where Anglian Water continues to work to reopen the busy highway - Credit: Anglian Water

What diversions are in place?

With Sweet Briar Road making up a section of the city ring road, road users have been diverted out of the city through Hellesdon or into the city down Aylsham Road, Drayton Road and via Dereham Road.

Traffic chaos on Dereham Road due to the closure of Sweetbriar Road because of a burst water main.

Traffic chaos on Dereham Road due to the closure of Sweet Briar Road. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to use the footway that connects Dereham Road to Drayton Road via Wensum Nature Reserve and Sloughbottom Park.

How long will my route take me now?

The closure causes delays at all times of day, which is exasperated at peak travel times, such as school pick-up and drop off and rush hour.

Traffic tailback from the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant

Traffic tailback from the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

There has been a ripple effect on journeys across both the city and the suburbs with some drivers saying jams have caused delays of up to 45 minutes in the nearby area.

However to ease congestion around the Norwich area, a selection of planned road works were put on hold to ease traffic flow.