Thetford news

Pictured at the site of the underpass are Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads and transport, with Peter Grimm, strategic traffic manager at Suffolk County Council, Geoff Chatfield, Highways Agency A11 Fiveways to Thetford Project Manager and Andrew Woodin, rights of way and access manager at Suffolk County Council.
Pictured at the site of the underpass are Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads and transport, with Peter Grimm, strategic traffic manager at Suffolk County Council, Geoff Chatfield, Highways Agency A11 Fiveways to Thetford Project Manager and Andrew Woodin, rights of way and access manager at Suffolk County Council.
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Work began this week on the underpass and bridleway for the A11 dualling scheme which will enable pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to safely cross the new carriageway at Elveden.

The work is part of the multi million pound scheme to dual the A11 between Fiveways at Barton Mills and Thetford.

This follows years of campaigning to get the last stretch of the A11 made a dual carriageway.

Construction is currently underway but the underpass scheme originally brought controversy about its suitability for horse riders after the British Horse Society said its proposed height was not adequate and that riders would have to dismount to use it.

Suffolk County Council has contributed £357,000 towards the cost of including the underpass in the scheme in order to maintain adequate public rights of way. The bridleway route links existing rights of way.

The underpass is being built using precast box units which slot together. These have to be lifted into place by a 500 tonne crane. The first section of the underpass is expected to be completed by early September. Traffic on the A11 will then be diverted onto the new section of road above while the remaining old road is dug up and the rest of the box units put in place.

The underpass is 20metres long with ramps at both ends and has a height of 3.7metres following the successful campaign by The British Horse Society. Initial plans had been for a height of 2.7metres.

Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk cabinet member for roads and transport, said: “I am very pleased to see this road scheme under construction. I look forward to the benefits it will bring, allowing the public to enjoy their local countryside safely.

“We will continue to work with Elveden Estate and the Forestry Commission to promote the area’s high quality access for visitors and support the local economy by ensuring important links remain open.”

The new road should be completed by the end of 2014.