MORE major works at Ipswich Road in Colchester have got underway this morning.

Disruption is expected in the area due to works to Cowdray Bridge, where damage was identified during the controversial and long-running £6.5 million roadworks scheme.

The scheme, which is now complete, saw the two double roundabouts in Ipswich Road and Harwich Road converted into single roundabouts.

During the roadworks, engineers were strengthening the retaining wall to the south and west of the Ipswich Rd roundabout, when a crack was discovered in the base of one of the ornamental bridge columns, known as pilasters.

These pilasters are instantly recognisable to all Colchester residents.

Initial repairs were made, allowing one lane at the roundabout to remain open, however, further works are needed and have now been given the go ahead by Network Rail.

The first stage of works, which started today, will see one lane closed at Ipswich Road roundabout between Ipswich Road south and Cowdray Avenue.

One lane will be open to traffic during the repairs, however disruption and delays are expected for drivers travelling through the area.

Essex Highways says it will look to minimise the impact and reduce the lane closure as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

The lane could reopen by the end of July, if things move ahead as planned.

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Working hours will generally be during the day, however the traffic management lane closures will be required to remain in place 24 hours a day.

Road users have been encouraged to drive carefully through and around the works at these times, observing road and lane closures and traffic lights as necessary.

Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “The safety of road users in Essex is of paramount importance and our utmost responsibility.

"This safety issue on the Cowdray Bridge has to be repaired as quickly as possible.

“I know this lane will be closed soon after work was completed on the Ipswich Road/Harwich Road junction. I absolutely understand these works may be an inconvenience, however they are essential, especially as the bridge runs over the main railway line.”

For more information, visit and access the dedicated Cowdray Bridge scheme.