Emergency two-week roadworks in major road

Gridlock on Ipswich Road, which is due to be hit be another two-week closure in August Picture: COLC

Gridlock on Ipswich Road, which is due to be hit be another two-week closure in August Picture: COLCHESTER VIEWS - Credit: COLCHESTER VIEWS

Two weeks of emergency roadworks in a vital road in Colchester are set to cause traffic chaos.

A busy stretch of Ipswich Road is due to reopen today (July 30) after weeks of work on underground waterways by Anglian Water.

Although this is earlier than expected, further problems have been unearthed - forcing an unexpected two-week closure in the same place from August 19.

The 70-metre stretch of road, between Fenwick Drive and Ipswich Road, is a vital highway for those travelling north to the A12 and Severalls Business Park.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: "We apologise to anyone affected by these closures, particularly because of the unplanned nature of the further closures.

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"However, we are required to accept the engineering logic of the situation of these pipes in the ground and have to adapt our road-improving widening work to the progress the utility companies are making."

Essex Highways said the emergency works are taking place in August to take advantage of the lower volume of traffic on the roads during the school holidays.

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Diversions for traffic which have been used for the past few months will remain in place during this next closure and the authorities hope work can be completed in less than the two-week timeframe.

These emergency works come in the middle of a break in closures, after Essex Highways announced a planned six-month closure would be split into smaller parts to minimise traffic disruption.

The works were originally planned to run from October 2018 to April 2020, but complications mean some phases of work will now be starting up to 11 months late.

Speaking at the end of June, when Essex Highways announced the plans to minimise disruption, county council leader David Finch said: "I'm pleased to announce we have been able to adapt our planned works and alleviate the potentially severe impacts a prolonged closure might have had.

"I hope that the changes will help to reassure people that we are listening to their concerns and doing everything we can to mitigate the effect of the works wherever possible, even though that means a longer overall timetable."

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