Essex road improvements ramp up as restrictions ease

Essex road improvements ramp up as restrictions ease

Several planned, non-emergency highways works across Essex are now resuming at pace, following a Government announcement that some of the restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 would be reduced.

The works are continuing with appropriate social distancing measures in place and have received a boost thanks to an additional £17.9m funding from Department for Transport highways for repairs and maintenance.

Major improvements on the A133 at Ipswich Rd to Harwich Rd in Colchester have started, as has the Edinburgh Way works in Harlow, which has previously changed to daytime works. Preliminary work to build the new Junction 7A on the M11 at Harlow is also being prepped too, linked to a new east-west route across the town.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “I am happy to report that nearly all our major and smaller road improvement schemes are back up and working following full risk assessments.

“Of course, some essential work of course never stopped and I’d like to thank all the highways workers who have kept our roads safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know reliable roads are key to getting the Essex economy moving again. For public safety, we are switching some of the road surfacing schemes we had planned for residential areas this year, to main roads instead. Those local roads will still be repaired and will be included in the surfacing programme for next year.

“I must again thank the majority of drivers in Essex for staying at home during lockdown and only using the county’s road network for essential journeys.”

The impact of the pause to some highways work, combined with the need to work differently to before to protect highways crews and the public, will inevitably affect the completion dates for some schemes. However, Essex Highways remains committed to delivering as much of this year’s programme of work as planned.

As previously announced, Essex Highways is also in the process of introducing further measures to support local people to socially distance, by encouraging sustainable methods of transport, including walking and cycling, particularly in urban areas. The first developments of this work will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Road surfacing work is now also fully underway, with surface dressing and full resurfacing (night works) programmes operational. The second resurfacing team and the micro-surfacing crew started on Monday 18 May.

Please follow Essex Highways Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/essexhighways for daily updates and the programmes map at www.essex.gov.uk/surfacing for all planned work.

Please note that planned surfacing work is subject to weather, and delays may impact on subsequent schemes. Residents are encouraged to watch out for on-site sign boards alerting to work in the near future and particularly requests not to park on the road on the day.

Last updated 21 May 2020