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Both lanes of Haven Bridge set to reopen

PUBLISHED: 18:48 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 July 2010

Haven Bridge which could be reopened by lunchtime tomorrow (Friday)

Haven Bridge which could be reopened by lunchtime tomorrow (Friday)

Liz Coates

ENGINEERS are striving to open both lanes of Haven Bridge by lunchtime today, ending the dread of driving home for hundreds of motorists simmering in jams.

ENGINEERS are striving to open both lanes of Haven Bridge by lunchtime today, ending the dread of driving home for hundreds of motorists simmering in jams.

David Allfrey, highways project manager, said the aim was to open the bottleneck ahead of schedule and in time for the October half-term holiday when visitors make a beeline for the resort.

He expected the move would mean traffic moving “roughly back to normal” after weeks of misery, particularly affecting the A12 approach.

“What we are desperately trying to do this week is clear the work by Friday mid-morning. We had a lot of soul searching on Monday because of all the problems last Friday when there was a four-car accident near Breydon Bridge which caused a further back up.

“Phase three is the last element that directly impacts on Haven Bridge and we are doing everything we can this week to try and finish those works by Friday lunch time to change the traffic management to come in and out over Haven Bridge.

“Our feeling is that it will loosen up. Hopefully by Friday the worst will be over. We are conscious of the problems and we have had a lot of frustration from people using the A12. But in general the movement in the town itself and on other approaches from the Acle Straight and Caister has not been too bad.

“The works themselves have gone very well,” he said.

Under phase four which starts today drivers coming into Yarmouth over Haven Bridge will be unable to turn right and will be directed left towards Fullers Hill or Stonecutters Way.

Over the weekend traffic will be unable to get on to South Quay via Yarmouth Way and will be directed towards Nottingham Way instead.

The £1m scheme to beef-up roads to cope with predicted heavy traffic generated by the outer harbour caused weeks of traffic chaos with anecdotal reports of 10-minute journeys taking up to two hours.

However, some people forced by the congestion to walk or cycle to work have reportedly enjoyed the changed and pledged to switch permanently to greener, more healthy transport options - an outcome which is being hailed as an unforeseen “silver lining” to the disruption.

But for traders moves to unclog the network cannot come quickly enough with some small businesses apparently struggling to cope with the double whammy burdens of the cold economic climate and roadworks.

The aim had been to open both lanes of Haven Bridge in the early hours of tomorrow morning, but transport chiefs hope to bring that forward to avoid a repeat of last Friday's rush hour gridlock.


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