The final section of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road – now named Broadland Northway – has finally opened after just missing its target date.
Following construction difficulties and a large cost increase on the project, the remaining 5.25km section of the A1270 opened on Tuesday morning (17 April).
It completes 19.5km of new dual carriageway around the north and east of Norwich.
Last week Broadland MP Keith Simpson led local councillors and representatives of other key stakeholders in marking the road’s imminent opening by cutting Union Flag bunting stretched across one carriageway.
Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said there had been no lack of effort to overcome the setbacks, but that completing the road safely and to a high standard had rightly been the priority for the joint Balfour Beatty and county council construction team.
He described the road as ‘an important piece in Norfolk’s infrastructure jigsaw that will help secure a better, brighter and more prosperous future for Norfolk'.
He added: ‘Broadland Northway is just starting unlock Norfolk’s potential. We need to press the Government for the earliest possible delivery of improvements to the A47, and to keep focus on our goal of full dualling of the A47, from Lowestoft to the A1 and the Midlands.’
The first two phases of the road were opened ahead of schedule last year.
The council said that the wet and at times very cold winter – including the Beast from the East – meant that the target of having the final phase open by the end of March was just missed.
Norfolk CC is still putting the cost of the project at £205m. In 2015, £29.9m had to be found to advance the scheme after the cost rose from an estimate of £148m in 2013 to the target cost of £178m.