AN ongoing multi-million-pound scheme to reconstruct one of the busiest roads in Essex has been delayed, Highways bosses have confirmed.

The £37 million Marks Tey to Stanway reconstruction scheme on the A12 has been ongoing since October 2022.

The end of the project was pencilled in for spring 2024, however, National Highways, which is in charge of the plans, has said the finish date has been pushed back following “a number of unexpected challenges”.

A spokesman said: “Since starting construction, we’ve encountered a number of unexpected challenges which have impacted our timelines.

“As a result of this, we’ll need to continue our work on the A12 between junction 25 Marks Tey and junction 26 Stanway into summer 2024.”

Bosses say the challenges have included adverse weather conditions and the discovery of “poor ground conditions” under the Colchester-bound carriageway.

“Before we started construction, we carried out extensive industry standard surveys”, the spokesman continued.

“Unfortunately, while our surveys were completed to current standards and using the correct methods, they can only give us an indication of the ground condition in the specific areas tested, rather than every inch of the road.

“This means it was only when we began digging up the Colchester-bound carriageway we uncovered these issues, and it became clear additional work was required to strengthen the foundations of the road.”

The Government agency said it understood the delay is “frustrating news” for motorists, and apologised for the inconvenience, adding it is “important work is carried out to the highest specification now to minimise long-term disruption for road users in the future”.

The spokesman finished by saying: “Please be assured we’re working hard to complete construction as quickly as possible.

“By building in additional time to account for these issues and the risk of further impact from anticipated poor weather conditions over the winter.

“We hope this update provides transparency so you’re able to plan ahead should our work continue past spring 2024 as previously expected.

“We’d like to thank you for your continued patience while we carry out this important work.”

National Highways has insisted once complete the project will see the A12 benefit from "improved safety, a smoother road surface and reduced noise.”

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