Major £65m road upgrade on A11 in Norfolk completed
National Highways’ highly-anticipated concrete reconstruction scheme on the A11 at Wymondham has been successfully completed, upgrading the region’s transport infrastructure and helping grow the economy.
The ambitious project, aimed at enhancing safety, reliability, and efficiency for commuters, businesses, and motorists, has been delivered as a part of National Highways nationwide drive to revitalise concrete roads across the country.
Decades of use and hundreds of millions of journeys had left the stretch of A11 between Spooner Row and Tuttles Interchange in a deteriorating condition. Using cutting-edge technology and techniques, National Highways’ comprehensive scheme saw the removal of the old concrete road surface and some of its foundations, before rebuilding with recycled material and a new asphalt top.
National Highways have also been using a number of innovative techniques to reduce the CO2 emissions during construction. This includes recycling 60,000 cubic metres of concrete – which could fill 24 Olympic sized swimming pools – was removed from the carriageway and recycled into the new road, powering the schemes average speed cameras with renewable energy and the exploratory use of kinetic floor tiles in the site compound that generate electricity when walked over.
The A11 is an essential route for motorists helping to connect Norfolk with other regions. The 45,000 drivers who use this stretch of road daily will all benefit from the smoother, quieter, and more reliable road surface.
Visiting the scheme today (14 September) Minister for Roads, Richard Holden said:
“The £65m upgrade to the A11 at Wymondham will improve connections and grow the economy in this region, whilst providing smoother, quieter and safer journeys for all road users.
“This is just one of many projects National Highways will be completing across the country to keep our roads up to their world-leading standard.”
National Highways have reconstructed close to 10 miles of carriageway. In total the government-owned company have:
- Removed and recycled 60,000 cubic metres of concrete, which is enough to fill 24 Olympic sized swimming pools
- Laid 147,000 tonnes of new asphalt, the equivalent weight of 786 Boeing 747 planes
- Installed 27,000 metres of new drainage, the same length of 257 Premier League football pitches back-to-back
- Put in place 13,000 metres of new safety barrier
- Painted 41,000 metres of road marking and laid 3,600 road studs
- Installed 60 new traffic signs
Speaking about the success of the scheme, Simon Amor – National Highways Head of Scheme Delivery (East) – said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the successful completion of concrete reconstruction scheme on the A11 at Wymondham. The upgraded road not only showcases the power of collaboration and cutting-edge concrete technology, but also promises enhanced safety, reduced maintenance needs, and a smoother travel experience for all road users.”
For the safety of workers and motorists, and to minimise disruption and complete the upgrade as quick as possible, National Highways used a single lane contraflow system on the project.
A contraflow is when the road is shut in one direction and traffic is then moved over to drive on the other side of the road to share the remaining road space. This provides the workforce with a clear working area.
“As we celebrate this major milestone, we extend our gratitude to the local community for their patience and understanding while we undertook this scheme,” Simon added. “This project will undoubtedly have a lasting positive impact on the region and serves as a prime example of how road infrastructure development can provide numerous benefits for years to come.”
Concrete roads make up more than 400 lane miles (4.6%) of England’s motorway and major A-road network. Mostly found along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, there are also some smaller stretches in other parts of England. Around half of the old-style concrete roads in the East will either have repairs or be replaced during this period, including stretches on the A11, A14, A12, A120 and M11.