Work on key roads to start in October
Laura Bagshaw MOTORISTS in Great Yarmouth will face weeks of disruption as a major project to strengthen some of the town's main roads gets underway in October. On Saturday, October 4, a phased programme of work will begin to strengthen sections of South Quay, Hall Quay, North Quay, Haven Bridge and Southgates Road after tests revealed that the roads would not be able to cope with extra traffic the outer harbour is expected to generate.
MOTORISTS in Great Yarmouth will face weeks of disruption as a major project to strengthen some of the town's main roads gets underway in October.
On Saturday, October 4, a phased programme of work will begin to strengthen sections of South Quay, Hall Quay, North Quay, Haven Bridge and Southgates Road after tests revealed that the roads would not be able to cope with extra traffic the outer harbour is expected to generate.
The £1m project comprises of five phases of work and highways bosses at Norfolk County Council said some lanes will be kept open to traffic during the five phases, although movement will be limited.
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Details on which lanes will be kept open are still being finalised but it is hoped one lane could be kept open on the bridge, which will remain open to pedestrians throughout the works, which are due to finish in mid November.
Next month the county council will begin some minor work at Hall Quay, widening part of the road towards the Town Hall, creating a better flow for traffic heading towards South Quay and Regent Street.
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Tests carried out by Norfolk County Council's highways team earlier in the year showed the roads were seriously weak and if left could be potentially dangerous. They already show signs of rutting and crazing which increases the risk of pot holes.
Roads will be dug about two feet into the ground and further tests will be carried out on the concrete foundations - and if they are in a poor condition, works could run longer.
The county council has been contacting local business to sound their views on the works and a detailed programme will be on public display at Yarmouth Library and at the Town Hall shortly.
County council spokesman, John Birchall, said they had considered running a temporary park and ride during the works, however with costs predicted to be in the region of £70,000 it was considered too expensive.
He added roadside warnings would go up well in advance to give people the chance to plan for the disruption.
Bus services will be affected by the works, particularly those which use Haven Bridge. Mr Birchall said revised service information would be published nearer the time of the start of works. He said the county council was continuing to work with bus operators and warned that other services, although not directly affected, could be disrupted due to traffic congestion caused by the works.
Mr Birchall confirmed work will not be carried out overnight because noise generated by machinery would disturb residents.
John Holmes, Labour ward councillor for Southtown and Cobholm, welcomed the improvements being made at Hall Quay in terms of widening the carriageway because it would improve the flow of traffic.
He added that the strengthening work was crucial and said motorists will just have to grin and bare the disruption.
Mr Holmes said: “I'm afraid we really have to go ahead with this work, it has to be done. I think people would be extremely concerned if we did not do anything and then the harbour traffic increased so much that it caused a problem with the road. I can now see people saying 'well why didn't you do the work before the harbour was built'. We are going to have disruption but people need to bare with it. It's worth short term pain for long term gain.”