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Sadlers woe returns – and it’s here until next January
WORK to finish the notorious Sadlers Farm junction will start again on Monday – but won’t be finished until the end of January next year.
Essex County Council announced a new timetable for the beleaguered £63million project, which is now nine months behind schedule.
The roadworks will restart, having been postponed until the end of the Olympics due to the closeness of the junction to the mountain bike event at Hadleigh Country Park.
The scheme had been earmarked to finish before the Olympics had even started.
Announcing the new timetable yesterday, Derrick Louis, Essex county councillor for highways and transportation, said: “I recognise this completion date is later than residents and businesses would prefer, but in considering a number of options we have weighed up the absolute need to minimise disruption over achieving an earlier date.
“I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their continued patience while these works are taking place, and apologise for this project taking longer to finish than we have hoped for.”
Motorists have already faced months of disruption, while businesses nearby claim to be massively out of pocket because of the ongoing works.
The junction has been plagued by problems since work began.
It was due to start in April 2010, but because of funding problems was delayed until August that year.
Severe snow that winter caused futher problems and the project fell five months behind schedule.
Later in 2011, the council’s contractor Birse asked staff to work longer shifts, cutting the delays to just two months behind schedule.
Earlier this summer, Essex County Council was forced to tell the Olympic Delivery Authority work would not be finished in time for the Games, prompting work to be postponed during August.
Then, several motorists came forward to claim the temporary road surface was slippery and had nearly caused several serious accidents.
Businessman Jason White, 39, owner of JD Cycles, in London Road, Benfleet , said the roadworks had led to his worst trading performance in 15 years.
Mr White said: “I have no doubt the poor trading is 100 per cent down to the roadworks. During the Olympics when the roadworks were suspended, my trade was actually on the up.
“But while the roadworks were in action, absolutely no-one was coming here. I run a specialist shop and people do not want to sit in the Sadlers Farm traffic to come here.”
Mr White said he is now expecting to experience his worst Christmas trading as the delays stretch into 2013.
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