Seven months of site preparation work starts this week on a £131m job to dual the last single section of carriageway on the A11 through Norfolk and Suffolk where Birse will be main contractor.
Main construction work will start between January and March next year on the Fiveways to Thetford improvement scheme.
The first task this week will be to mark out the site area. Then over the summer months a full archaeological survey will be carried out between Chalk Hall Farm and the B1106 to ensure that any buried artefacts are recovered.
The site preparation team will also install low-level plastic fencing to prevent protected species of reptiles and amphibians being able to enter the area, and will help ecologists to capture and relocate them.
In September, once the bird-nesting season is over, the team will remove trees and shrubs along the route of the scheme to allow clear access for main construction work.
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.
“During September we will have off-peak traffic lights in place on the A11 during some of the site clearance works to ensure the safety of the workforce and road users.
“However we don’t expect this to cause too much disruption.”
Once completed in 2014/15, the A11 will be upgraded to dual-carriageway standard between Fiveways Roundabout at Barton Mills near Mildenhall and the southern roundabout of Thetford bypass, with 5.5 miles of the A11 widened and a new 3.6 mile bypass of the village of Elveden.