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NDR News

Postby hank » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:14 pm

It comes less than two weeks after the government released its share of funding for the scheme.
Norfolk County Council announced that work was to begin today at a farm in Rackheath, where ground works are being carried out for a bat roost barn.
It is one of many wildlife and environmental protection measures built into the project.
Other preliminary work, including clearance of vegetation, archaeology, utility service diversions and some drainage lagoon excavations, will continue in January.
Once complete, the 20km dual carriageway, running from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham road, will take thousands of vehicles a day off unsuitable roads in and around Norwich.
The £178.5m project is expected to be complete in early 2018.
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:34 pm

From rescued to rescuer in the space of a year, Rocky the spaniel is taking leaps and bounds into new territory as one of the first of the breed trained to root out great-crested newts. The two-year-old pup was picked up a year ago and has been trained to sniff out the protected species where they could be in danger from diggers and construction vehicles. And over a 20km stretch of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, Rocky has been clambering through rubble to help unearth almost 2,000 animals in the path of the £178.5m road.
Dog handler Aaron Clyne, from Conservation Dogs, has four dogs which deal in great-crested newt protection; Rocky, Ned, Sasha and Flash.
“What we want from him is to pinpoint as accurately as possible where something is; whether it is an explosive device or a newt, the theory is the same,” he said.
“That is a positive interaction. We do not want it to injure the newt or blow itself up, so we have to deal with it carefully.”
If Rocky catches a scent he will sit up on his hind legs and point - helping ecologists focus on an area.
Lead ecologist Paul Renshaw said Rocky allowed him to “search larger areas faster and more effectively.”
“We have got three areas across a 20km section of the site where we have identified the presence of newts, and once we find that we do a 60 day trap out,” he said. “The newts will hit a fence on the perimeter, fall into a bucket and we move them out of the danger area.
“We can never guarantee we get all of them, but this way we have that extra peace of mind that we have really scoured the area. There would be nothing worse than starting to clear and area and finding newts.
“We are trying to catch enough of them so we do not affect their conservation in nature and their natural habitat. In a population of 1,000, if we catch 500 we then have a viable population and are able to move them off-site.”
Over the three sites on the NDR the team have rescued 351 great-crested newts, 449 smooth newts, 859 toads, 91 frogs, and various mammals including one hedgehog.
“Once they are caught we move them to receptor sites which are still in their natural range,” said Mr Renshaw.
“The UK does have a large population of the ones that are left, which is why they are a protected species. They are the largest of the newt species we have in the UK, and they are protected due to declining numbers due to loss of habitat.”
Craig O’Brien, environment manager for Balfour Beatty, said recruiting Rocky would help them deliver the project on an already tight time frame.
“This is not tried and tested but we are all for innovation,” he said. “If everything starts dropping into place it helps because we know we are on a tight deadline.”
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:08 am

Discussions have been held with the Environment Agency and Natural England over the possibility of completing the missing link to the A47 on the £178.5m road. Neither has ruled out the possibility of an acceptable scheme being devised.
The lack of a link has been a criticism of the 12.5 mile road, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road.
People in places such as Costessey, Weston Longville and Ringland fear the road currently being built will lead to rat-running where they live in the absence of a proper connection from the A1067 to the A47.
And a group of councillors at Norfolk County Council has been working on reviving the missing link, previously ruled out because the cost of crossing the River Wensum – designated as a special area of conservation – was prohibitive.
Consultants Mouchel were brought in to explore possible solutions. Their report reveals discussions held with the Environment Agency and Natural England have suggested a solution, possibly a bridge crossing the Wensum Valley, could be feasible.
The report states: “A solution to the environmental issues is likely to be possible, and with sufficient mitigation and careful design, the Environment Agency believe that it would be possible to devise a crossing that they could support.”
However, they also said there is a lack of evidence to show that problems, created by the opening of the NDR, would justify such a scheme.
Councillors will be asked on Friday to agree to draw on up to £425,000 for further specialist work over the next 18 months to produce evidence.
Tim East, Liberal Democrat councillor for Costessey, who chairs the cross-party working group, said: “It is significant that the Environment Agency and Natural England have not ruled out the possibility.
“Once the three-quarter NDR is completed the pressure to finish the job will be immense and I think it will receive a lot of support.”
However, the Wensum Valley Alliance, has opposed such a link. Member Jenn Parkhouse previously said: “To even consider going further and crossing the Wensum Valley is completely unacceptable not only for financial reasons, but for environmental ones.”
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:07 am

Average speed cameras could be introduced as part of a raft of traffic-calming measures for communities along the Northern Distributor Road (NDR). It is hoped the new measures would help slow down an expected increase in “rat-runners” following the completion of the £178.5m 12.5-mile route, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the east of Norwich to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the west. They include average speed cameras along West End in Costessey, weight restrictions on roads over the River Wensum and speed limit reductions. Tim East, Norfolk county councillor for Costessey, said while the measures would not reduce rat-running, they would help control it.
He explained: “There is no doubt that the three-quarter option for the NDR will increase the volume of traffic. “The mitigation measures before the construction of the bypass would be to reduce the speed, but we can’t reduce the volume.”
It is feared that once the road is complete, more traffic will pass through nearby villages to reach the A47 west of Norwich.
Mitigation measures will see various traffic-calming measures potentially implemented in towns and villages along the route.
The county council said it was currently examining the “feasibility” of installing average speed cameras in Costessey.
Mr East claimed, should it go ahead, it would be the first time the cameras would be installed in a village, rather than a motorway.
Council officers are still working with parish councils in Weston Longville and Hockering to finalise traffic-calming proposals.
Joanna Kitchener, chairman of Hockering Parish Council, said they were looking to introduce a 20mph speed limit outside the local school, and chicanes in the roads.
It comes as Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee agreed on Friday to fund a study to look at linking the NDR through to the A47 at Costessey, rather than it simply ending at the A1067 Fakenham Road.
Meanwhile, there would be weight restrictions on roads over the River Wensum, namely Ringland Road, Taverham Lane and Costessey Lane.
There would also be the potential introduction of a 30mph speed limit for Ringland Road through Ringland.
A traffic-calming scheme on Hall Lane, in Drayton, using road narrowing to slow down vehicles, is to be introduced in early 2017.
The measures were included in a report to the county council’s environment, development and transport committee yesterday.
A council spokesman said: “These measures are conditions of the 
development consent either because forecasts predict traffic increases following the opening of the 
NDR, such as Hockering and Weston Longville, or because, following the development consent order examination, the secretary of state has included additional off-line measures to allay specific local concerns.”
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:41 pm

July saw construction of the NDR pass its six-month milestone, with good overall progress which June downpours could not dampen. Early achievements included:

- 300 ha of site clearance, with archaeological investigations complete on 18 ha.
- Wildlife and environmental protection measures with 1,500 amphibians (350 great crested newts) moved, four newt ponds complete, two bat roost houses built, 81 bat roost boxes and over 100 bird boxes put up.
- 26 km of fencing erected, 21 utility services moved and a high pressure gas main diverted.
- Eight plant crossings and nine site access points constructed.
- Seven drainage lagoons excavated, 400 metres of drainage pipe installed, and a ditch dug to protect the Wensum Valley.

The first six months saw over 750,000 cubic metres of material - mostly topsoil - shifted, and the return of summer weather has allowed earth moving to step up again after the wet end to June. Most progress has been made at the western end, where drainage has been going in and kerbs going down ready for carriageway construction, and where roundabouts are on course for completion in the autumn.
Progress has also been made on bridges, with concrete bases in place at Buxton Road and Marriotts Way, and concrete pours on columns already underway.
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:44 am

Emergency services were called to Horsham St Faith after a Second World War device was found on land being developed for the Northern Distributor Road. Specialists checking for unexploded devices in and around the area of the former RAF Horsham St Faith airfield made the find which led to a Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal unit being sent to the scene along with police, fire and ambulance crews.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We have employed a specialist company to check the site of the NDR for unexploded devices as a precaution when the line of the NDR passes through or close to the former wartime airfield [RAF Horsham St Faith].
“This is the first time anything of any significance has been found.”
Police were called to Bullock Hill shortly before 10am yesterday following reports “an old Second World War device” had been found. A Norfolk police spokesman said officers attended for public safety reasons and a 200m cordon was put in place.
Last night he said: “EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] safely removed the device from the premises at around 5.30pm this afternoon [Tuesday, August 2] and at no point was there a wider threat to members of the public.”
The East of England Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (@EEAST_HART) tweeted: “T4M worked with @NorfolkPolice & @Norfolkfire to triage and discharge 10 persons involved in an incident near #Norwich airport.”
Three fire crews and the fire service’s environmental protection unit also attended the incident, with firefighters at the scene until just after 5.30pm.
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Re: NDR News

Postby Boaters » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:46 pm

Beware the speed checks are being used in the EDP it said in excess of 150 had been caught doing over 30 mph in one day ,so take it seriously when you go through these works :Oh
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:48 am

A crucial pipeline, which supplies gas all over the country, had to be diverted because of construction work on the £178.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Nearly half a kilometre of the 900 millimetre steel pipeline, which transports North Sea gas from Bacton all over the country, had to 
be diverted to prevent gas services 
to millions of homes being 
disrupted while a new section was installed.
Project managers for the NDR, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, said the work, three years in the planning, had been done ahead of schedule and on budget.
The pipeline crossed the line of the NDR towards its western end, between Fir Covert Road and the A1067 Fakenham Road. But it was designed for operation in open countryside and needed to be upgraded to a thicker gauge before the road can go over the top.
Ian Taylor, project manager for Norfolk County Council, said success depended upon close working between National Grid Gas, Fastflow Energy Services, Norfolk County Council and Balfour Beatty – the NDR main contractor.
He said: “Having this considerable obstruction out of the way so early in our scheme’s programme is a huge stride forward for us. This is a prime example of what can be achieved with careful planning when teams work together.”
Andy Bathie, who managed the project for National Grid, said: “We were very conscious that a major development depended on the timely diversion of our pipeline.
“We were determined to help deliver this project on time and keep costs down for the council.
“This pipeline is one of a number of key feeder pipelines that supply gas to the country.
“Careful planning and close liaison between everyone involved meant the project was completed safely and promptly, while maintaining gas to homes and businesses across the nation.”
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:53 am

Work to tie new roundabouts on the route of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road in with existing roads could be carried out overnight. Bosses behind the £178.5m project say that working overnight, in areas such as Fakenham Road, for a handful of nights, would speed up the project, cut overall traffic disruption and help ensure a better finish.
The council and its contractors currently have permission for work between 7am and 7pm, but are seeking the go-ahead to vary those hours.
Signs have already appeared on 
the A1067 Fakenham Road, where motorists have been warned there could be four overnight closures – from 8pm to 6am – from Monday, September 12.
John Birchall, Norfolk County Council’s community liaison officer for the NDR project, said: “Although signs have gone up alerting motorists of planned overnight closures, these will only go ahead if consent is granted.
“Putting up the signs may seem like jumping the gun, but we’ve got to give notice on site or we can’t do the work, even if consent is given.
“A key consideration will be the potential for disturbance of people living nearby.
“The advantages of working under a full road closure would be faster working, reduced overall traffic disruption, and a better finish, with fewer surface joints.”
Meanwhile, progress is being made on a number of bridges along the route, including Marriotts Way – the “green bridge” that will carry the hedgerow over the NDR to maintain it as an important foraging route for bats, Middle Road in Great Plumstead and Buxton Road, near Spixworth.
Mr Birchall said: “A key structure is the double bridge that will carry the NDR over Plumstead Road and the Norwich to Sheringham Railway. The bases are now in on the road bridge, and piling for the railway bridge has started.”
Contractors are hoping the 12.5-mile road, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, will be completed by Christmas next year.
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:08 am

Work described by council officers as “critical” in the building of the controversial Norwich Northern Distributor Road has been completed two months ahead of schedule. Foundation piles for the bridge that will carry the dual carriageway over the Norwich to Sheringham railway in Rackheath have been installed, with work which had been earmarked to last until just before Christmas already finished.
Fifty king post piles, to create a temporary protective wall alongside the railway, and 90 bridge foundation piles have been installed in overnight working at the site of the bridge. The work started in early August and had to be carried out at night when no trains ran.
Chris Sedman, project director for main contractor Balfour Beatty said: “This is a key bridge on the route of the NDR, and working close to the railways has presented considerable challenges.
“Getting this overnight piling finished in just eight weeks, with no disruption to rail services, is a real achievement.
“All this has been achieved while maintaining close control and monitoring of noise from the site. Piling can generate high noise levels, so before work started in August properties most at risk were hand-delivered letters which included ways of raising noise issues with the NDR team, but we received very few comments or complaints.”
The next stages on the rail bridge will be the construction of the base and abutment walls, all leading to the main beams going on around Easter next year.
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:55 pm

2016 summary
Environment
Archaeological investigation complete on 22ha (including the excavation of the Mustang crash site in Rackheath - pictured)
Over 300ha of site clearance (includes approx 5000 trees)
7km of newt fence installed.
Over 2,000 amphibians, including 587 great crested newts, 488 smooth newts, 885 toads and 103 frogs, trapped and moved.
Four newt habitat ponds created
81 bat roost boxes installed
Two bat roost barns built
Over 100 bird boxes put up – 10 barn owl boxes to follow
Tree, shrub and hedge planting underway.

Fencing and drainage
42km of fencing complete - 2km remaining
10 km of drainage installed so far- 23km remaining
20 Drainage lagoons created – 7 remaining
Ditch and lagoon excavated to protect Wensum Valley

Utility Service diversions
50 Utility service diversions changed over or ready – 30 remaining
High Pressure gas main diversion completed

Earthworks
512,000 cubic metres of topsoil strip (almost complete)
1.2 million cubic metres of bulk excavation – 0.3 cubic metres remaining

Bridges
Marriott’s Way and Bell Farm Track - Concrete bases, columns and central pier poured, reinforced earth walls complete
Cromer Road (A140) - Bases and columns poured. Reinforced earth walls on-going
Buxton Rd - Bases, columns and central pier poured. Reinforced earth walls complete. Crosshead beams and deck beams very soon.
Newman Road - Excavated, with works to structure to commence soon
Rackheath Railway - piling works completed. North and south abutment bases poured: Bridge beams on by Easter 2017
Plumstead Road - Piling, and bases completed, walls and deck beams soon.
Middle Road Piling complete.
In total: 2,354 cubic metres of concrete in place – 5,875 remaining

Main carriageway and junctions
8.9 km of carriageway stabilised ( out of 40 km total)
8.5km protected with asphalt base layers
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Re: NDR News

Postby hank » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:58 am

Work on the so-called ‘missing link’ of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road could potentially start in 2023. But it would depend on a whole host of hurdles being overcome, including a suitable route being identified, money for the project being found and permission being granted. Efforts to make the link to the A47 to the west of Norwich a reality are being stepped up.
Representatives from almost 20 parish council have been asked to join a stakeholder group considering the potential road - now known as the Norwich Western Link.
However, critics have attacked the pursuit of the link and accused the council of trying to use the proposed food hub at Easton as a way to justify the need for it. Norfolk County Council recently named the link road, along with the Long Stratton bypass and the Great Yarmouth third river crossing as top road priorities in the year ahead.
Last summer the council agreed to make more than £400,000 available to explore how the NDR, currently under construction, could join the A47 to the west of Norwich. The fact the NDR will not, as it stands, has been a criticism of the £178.5m project.
A working group of county councillors have been working on reviving the missing link. It was previously ruled out because the cost of crossing the River Wensum – designated as a special area of conservation – was prohibitive. Consultants Mott MacDonald were brought in to explore possible solutions and put forward 13 possible routes with costs of ranging from £28.3m to £102.5m.
And County Hall officers, who have been working with consultants Mouchel, have come up with a draft project programme which shows work could start in 2023, if money is secured, a route is identified and permission is granted.
Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey, who chairs the working group, said: “Progress on the feasibility study into the delivery of the proposed Norwich Western Link development is advancing.
“With Norfolk County Council identifying it as a top priority, the hope is that having gone successfully through all the procedural hoops, examinations in public and public consultation exercises, a start date for work could be provisionally set for around 2023. “That will be only five or six years after the completion of the three quarter NDR.
“This Norwich Western Link Project, if successfully delivered, could form a complete northern bypass for the city and county”.
Later this month, a stakeholder group will be formed, with representatives from 18 parish councils, to help to gather evidence to “inform the project”.
But Dr Ian Shepherd, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said he feared controversial plans for a food hub at Easton would be used to make the case for the link road “by stealth”.
The first planned phase of that hub is on a 20-hectare site near the A47, linking the food and farming expertise of the nearby Norfolk Showground, Easton and Otley College, and the Norwich Research Park.
Broadland District Council is currently consulting over a ‘Local Development Order’ which would make it easier for relevant businesses there to set up or grow within the food hub zone. However, Dr Shepherd said the food hub scheme was flawed and accused councils of trying to use it to justify the need for the link road - and secure funding.
He said: “As a body, the CPRE opposes any route across the Wensum Valley on environmental grounds.
“The politics behind this, is that there is a lot off pressure coming on to get half of the food hub in the local plan and then get the other half, which comes under South Norfolk Council, in.
“They are hoping that will give leverage to make the case for the link road and to get funding. “What annoys me is the way they do this away from the public gaze and that they try to do these things by the back door.”
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