A12 Margaretting improvement scheme £10m over budget and two months behind schedule

The A12
-Credit: (Image: National Highways)

Major improvement work on the A12 is more than two months behind schedule and £10m over budget, an FOI has revealed. National Highways are rebuilding around 11.4 miles worth of carriageway between Ingatestone and Three Mile Hill.

Work on the project began on February 27 last year and, according to a Freedom of Information request by EssexLive, was due to be completed by June 24 this year. In total it was expected to take almost a year and a quarter to complete.

But the improvement work on the A12, which is only 1.9 miles long but comprises of three lanes in both directions and totals 11.4 miles, is not likely to be complete until September 7. This would be an additional 76 days,

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The project was initially expected to cost in the region of £65 million. However as of May 1 the estimated cost was at £75m. About 7.6 miles of carriageway has been constructed, about 66% of the total work to be done.

Asbestos removal and wet weather behind A12 delays and cost rise

The Margaretting Bypass, where work is being carried out, runs between Junctions 13 and 15 on the A12. Officials say once the work is complete it will lead to a safer road surface, smoother and quieter journey and extend the road's lifespan.

National Highways say the East region has the highest concentration of concrete roads, including the A14, A12, A120, A11 and M11. Around half of the old-style concrete roads will either have repairs or will be replaced during the next five years.

Karl Brooks, National Highways Programme Delivery Manager, said: "We had originally expected work to finish earlier but difficult ground conditions, requiring more extensive treatment than originally envisaged along with deeper excavation, and extended periods of poor weather have contributed to delays. A water main also had to be diverted and asbestos removed, adding towards the additional overall cost.

"We have had the wettest March on record and faced similar difficulties with weather earlier in the year. We want these roads to last four decades so making sure the foundations are sound is paramount to their longevity.

"We currently expect to be able to fully reopen the A12 to traffic before the end of the summer and thank drivers for their patience.”

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