Night work on bridges for bats

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Part of a major dual carriageway has been closed for five nights so special wire bridges could be built for bats.

The new Elveden bypass on the A11 is currently undergoing a £102m upgrading and a section between the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills and the new B1106 Elevden junction was closed again last week to install four bat wires over the carriageway between Mildenhall woods and Chalk Hall Farm in an area which is home to at least six species of the nocturnal mammals.

Bats can be confused when a new road is built through their habitat as their radar hits unfamiliar features. The structures allow bats to safely cross by imitating the lines of hedgerows that they would normally follow and help them avoid colliding with traffic.

Highways project manager Geoff Chatfield said: “These structures are part of our environmental mitigation to reduce the impact of the scheme on local wildlife.

“Another big milestone for us will be the opening of the B1112 underpass which is currently forecast this month. This will reconnect this important local road which has been closed since 2013.” The new nine-mile bypass is due to be fully opened to traffic in the autumn with the scheme set to be completed in December.