A new third lane along the A130 will not open until the winter after work was delayed.
Essex County Council had hoped the works would complete this summer. But they are now likely to run into winter 2017 after CountyRoute, who maintain the road on behalf of the Council, reassessed the extent of the works required.
The upgrades are being done at no cost to taxpayers thanks to an agreement in place with CountyRoute.
Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “As cabinet member for highways and a frequent user of this road, I am disappointed with this news.
“Although the dual carriageway remains open in both directions as it had before, I completely understand the frustration if people are sitting in queues during peak times and viewing a coned-off empty third lane.
“We are working with CountyRoute to ensure the third lane can be opened as soon as possible – unfortunately this is now likely to be winter 2017.”
CountyRoute is responsible for the full maintenance of the highway until 2030, the end of their 30-year contract, when maintenance responsibilities will revert to the County Council.
Work to create a third lane in both directions on the A130, between Howe Green and the Rettendon Turnpike, was originally triggered after 50,000 cars used the stretch of road in one day.
Investigations over past months have revealed a need to reconstruct the ground alongside the carriageway as a preventative measure to protect against the possible risk of embankment slippages in the long-term.