New road takes shape

WORK is well underway on a £15 million transformation of Stowmarket's road network to help ease congestion for thousands of motorists.

WORK is well underway on a £15 million transformation of Stowmarket's road network to help ease congestion for thousands of motorists.

Archaeologists are also on site as construction has started on the town's long-awaited B1115 relief road, which will solve the long delays as drivers wait at the intercity train line level crossing.

The project includes building 550m of highway across the River Gipping and the railway and a second stretch to link Prentice Road to Gipping Way. Two bridges will span the water and a third will cross the Norwich to London main line.

A new station car park to the east of the railway line will create additional parking spaces, to replace those lost during construction.

David Harrison, project manager for Birse Civils who are undertaking the work for Suffolk County Council, said: “At the moment we are constructing the new station car park because a new bridge will take part of the existing car park.

“We are aiming to enhance the number of parking spaces and there is both excavation and paving work going on.

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“We are also underway constructing the embankment between Creeting Road and the railway bridge. By January the most obvious change will be the construction of the new bridge over the River Gipping, which will be clearly visible, and the building of a new railway bridge.

“The idea is to transform the road network locally and help the growth and regeneration of the town. The current projected opening date is early 2010.”

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk Council, said: “We are very pleased that work is well underway and look forward to it bring completed as soon as possible.

“For many years, since I been a boy, the level crossing has been an issue, and is shut for too long at a time. This can put people off visiting the town.

“Congestion at the level crossing can leave people waiting for ten minutes in long queues of traffic and there is all the pollution from the vehicles. This is a blight. Anything to make access to the community, the shops and the town's facilities is very welcome.

“In these economic times anything that can be done to help retailers and tourist attractions like the Museum of East Anglian Life, can only benefit the whole area. This relief road will be a great improvement. This will benefit the environment and commercial retailers and help some residents' blood pressure. This is very beneficial.”