The Highways Agency has announced that is has begun preparing the A11 in Norfolk ahead of major construction work that is due to get underway next year.

Birse has been named the main contractor of the £131 million job to dual the final section of carriageway in Norfolk and Suffolk and the company is due to begin the main work between January and March 2013 once the road organisation has completed preparing the site. The Highways Agency has stated that the improvements are set to provide better links on the A11 from Fiveways to Thetford and has set a provisional date of 2014/15 for the entire project to be finished.

Officials have already outlined the timeframe and building schedule of what will be taking place over the coming weeks to ensure that the A11 is ready for Birse to begin their obligation to the site.

The Highways Agency will initially mark out the area, and over the summer months conduct a full archaeological dig to ensure that any historical artifacts that may be buried between Chalk Hall Farm and the B1106 are recovered before the main machinery begin laying down tarmac and other parts needed in the construction. Officials have also said that they will install plastic security fencing to stop small animals and amphibians from entering the site.

Trees will also be removed but only once the bird-nesting season is over in September, which will allow for clear construction routes to be made enabling machinery to move in and out of the site with, the trees will be re-planted as soon as the work is completed.

Highways Agency project manager, Rob Gibson, said: "These advance works are important, as it is part of our commitment to mitigate the impact of the road improvement scheme on the local environment, including our heritage.

"People who use the A11 may see some of this work being carried out, particularly near to the war memorial; however, the majority of it will have no impact on drivers using the A11."

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