After 108 days of disruption and delays, Lynn’s Saturday Market Place finally re-opened to drivers late on Wednesday afternoon.
Some work on the £640,000 enhancement of the square, which has seen the road become one way for motorists, is still to be completed, although the car park is expected to re-open today.
West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney yesterday admitted it was “a relief” to see the road open once again, but said he was delighted by the end result.
He said: “I try to keep these things in context. Trying to get the right window is very complicated. The way I look at it is we do these major projects once every 100 years.
“I think it looks absolutely fabulous and I’m quite confident it will serve the town well for another 100 years. I’m really, really pleased.”
It was back on August 18 that the market place was first closed to traffic for works that, at that time, were expected to take up to 12 weeks to complete.
But the project was hit by a number of hold-ups including poor weather, delays in delivering the stone for the new paving and the uncovering of the remains of a medieval chapel below the surface of the square.
Archaeologists were called in to examine the remains, which have now been reburied. The outlines of the chapel will be marked as part of the project.
Mr Daubney conceded there had been concerns among traders in the area about the length of time the works were taking.
But he said he was confident that businesses would benefit significantly from the work.
He added: “I really hope we make it our business to use the area and support the traders there.
“We will discuss with the traders there the kind of activities we can create to make it busier there.
“It’s always difficult when you have major roadworks around your business. Of course I recognise that.”
In his latest update on the project, Norfolk County Council resident engineer Quentin Brogdale said the square’s main car park would be reopened today, once lines marking the spaces have been painted.
A small section of the footpath near the junction with St James Street has still to be completed.
And Mr Brogdale said work to install the new paving in St Margaret’s Place is now expected to continue until the week before Christmas.