Drivers should enjoy a smoother ride along large sections of the A47 later this year when Highways England East undertake resurfacing and safety improvement schemes.
The A47 from Guyhirn to Wisbech will be among the stretches of the major trunk road that are due to be resurfaced with much of the work being done overnight to try to keep disruption to a minimum.
Staff from Highways England East were in Guyhirn with their mobile unit on Thursday (20) to outline their plans which will see phased work carried out from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth along the A47 starting in the autumn with completion due in early spring next year.
Apart from resurfacing their will be safety schemes carried out too including new signage and better road markings.
One area set for safety improvements is the stretch of the A47 from Redmoor Lane roundabout up to the Elme Hall roundabout where there have been issues with pedestrians walking along the road.
Ian Jobson, Highways England operations manager, said the aim was to keep disruption to a minimum so safety schemes will be completed at the same time as any resurfacing work.
He said the resurfacing was proactive rather than reactive and would save money in the long run. Highways England is investing £20million in the programme of works between Peterborough and Norwich.
One major scheme will be repair work to the Saddlebow Bridge at King’s Lynn which was damaged by a lorry hitting it earlier in the year.
Mr Jobson said: “Some of the beams have been damaged so repairs are essential.”
However, the repair work will see the A47 closed over a number of weekends at Saddlebow, when there will be a major diversion in place.
However, Mr Jobson said the work would not start until later in the autumn so it did not cause problems during the six weeks’ school holiday period.
“We know roadworks are a cause of frustration for drivers, but they have to be done. We do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, including working overnight. We just urge people to be patient and we have introduced new signs on some roads explaining what we are doing and why, which seems to help people to stay calmer when they are held up.”
Steve Harris of Leverington, who works for HW Martin Traffic Management Ltd, was at Thursday’s consultation event with one of the trucks used by road workers.
He explained how the truck has a large attachment at the back which acts as a barrier to protect workers from oncoming vehicles. It has a special impact cushion which helps take the sting out of any collision.
“I haven’t had anyone run into the back of my truck, but I work with several people who have, so you know they do their job,” he said.