Work to start early on £16m, A47 scheme - but expect delays for 14 months
- Credit: Archant
Work will start in February on a £16m improvement scheme for the Guyhirn roundabout – and with it will come delays, diversions and a 30mph speed limit for the next 14 months.
Highways England says initially they will be doing some “vegetation clearance” before moving onto the main construction work.
“For the safety of the public and our workers, we will need some road closures when we start our work,” said a spokesperson.
“Then again in autumn 2021 for resurfacing the road. Some of the diversions may be long, but we will aim to only close one road onto the roundabout at a time and limit road closures to night times between 8.00pm to 6.00am”.
Changes have long been called for at the Guyhirn junction between the A47 (Fen Road to South Brink) and the A141 (March Road) which is used by over 20,000 vehicles a day and experiences high levels of congestion.
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“The junction improvements aim to reduce congestion, improve journey times and increase safety,” said the spokesperson.
“Our project on the Guyhirn junction aims to increase the size of the roundabout by creating two lanes on all approaches to the roundabout.
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“This will include an additional lane over the existing carriageway on the River Nene Bridge. Towards the end of the project there may be an opportunity for us to carry out additional bridge maintenance on the River Nene bridge.”
Details of diversion routes will be published closer to the time.
To keep traffic moving, Highways England say they will keep all the lanes on the road open but reduce the width of the lanes so we can minimise disruption to motorists.
A temporary 30mph speed limit through the roadworks will be put in place.
The spokesperson said: “We will install two temporary roundabouts to keep traffic moving whilst we remove the existing roundabout and build the new wider one.
“One of the temporary roundabouts will be at Guyhirn junction, the other will be at Gull Road so motorists won’t have to go through our roadworks when exiting this junction.”
Highways England say that to allow them to complete the work “efficiently and limit disruption to traffic” they will be working during both day and night time from Mondays to Saturdays and occasionally on some Sundays.
Public footpaths will be kept open for walkers and cyclists, although some slight changes to the existing routes will be needed,
Existing streetlights will be replaced with temporary lights throughout the construction period.
You can sign up for updates by subscribing to the text messaging service: Text ‘A47Guyhirn’ to ‘88802’.
“This text service can be configured to your requirements to share key information with you about upcoming road closures or key construction work,” said the spokesperson.
Guyhirn is one of six projects along the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth as part of a £300 million-plus investment.
It says the A47 is an important connection, linking the cities of Norwich and Peterborough, the towns of Wisbech, Kings Lynn, Dereham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and a succession of villages in what is largely a rural area.
“As part of a multi-billion investment to improve journeys on England’s major A-roads and motorways, the Government is funding a package of six projects on the 115-mile stretch of the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth,” said the spokesperson.
“Together the projects will convert almost eight miles of single carriageway into dual carriageway and improve key junctions along the A47 road.”
The A47 road improvement projects are: n A47/A141 Guyhirn junction n A47 Wansford to Sutton dualling n A47 North Tuddenham to Easton dualling n A47/A11 Thickthorn junction n A47 Blofield to North Burlingham dualling n A47 Great Yarmouth junction
Following its Preferred Route Announcement (PRA) in 2017, Highways England said they undertook a variety of technical and traffic surveys to help finalise their design for the Guyhirn project.
“As part of this we made some changes to our design which means it now falls within the existing highway boundary,” said the spokesperson.
“This means that we do not need to obtain planning permission as we originally thought, saving time and enabling us to start work earlier than planned.”