Pitsea Flyover...7 years of despair and £12m repair bill

Echo: Keith Bobbin Keith Bobbin

IT was a project that began almost seven years ago and was meant to bring to an end the safety fears about Pitsea flyover.

But despite undergoing endless repairs costing an estimated £12million, the project is still not complete.

The flyover is now in its sixth phase of work, with another planned later this year. The problem facing engineers in 2004 came from water and road salt used on the A13 in winter, which seeped through and corroded the flyover, putting safety at risk.

A two-phase, £8.4million programme was designed to tackle the leaks and strengthen the sides and columns under the flyover.

There now seems to be no end in sight for the “temporary” repairs to the flyover and their spiralling cost, and the Echo has also discovered the flyover is still leaking.

The Echo met Basildon Labour councillor Keith Bobbin underneath the flyover and saw evidence of water still seeping through.

He said: “It is beyond a joke how much money is being spent on the flyover and we don’t seem to be getting it done.”

In September 2007, while he was a county councillor, Mr Bobbin discovered highways engineers had planned the early stages of the work using the wrong plans of the flyover after the originals had gone astray.

So far, completed work has included the resurfacing of the flyover. It has also been re-waterproofed, and new joints have been installed in the road.

The sixth phase is reinforcing the concrete pillars in the neighbouring retail park which hold up the structure, and carrying out work to prevent steelwork within it from corroding.

Engineers were warned if this was not done concrete could fall from above on to cars in the car park, and heavy vehicles may have had to be banned from the bridge.

The initial estimate for the work before it began in September was £500,000.

But following a Freedom of Information request from the Echo, County Hall’s structures manager Clive Woodruff confirmed the projected cost of phase six has now almost doubled to £965,000.

Phase seven, which will be a continuation of this work, will cost a similar amount.

However, Mr Woodruff was unable to provide a breakdown of the running total so far, a schedule of the works completed, or a breakdown of initially projected costs, claiming it would cost too much to get the data.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, if a public body believes putting together the information will cost more than £450 in officer time it can be refused.

Mr Bobbin said: “For a project this big with major contracts involved they should have all the figures to hand.”

In the meantime, based on previous costs released by County Hall, the Echo estimates the bill, if phase seven is completed on budget, to be approaching £12million.

Norman Hume, Tory county councillor in charge of highways, was unavailable to comment on whether there would be further work.

Comments (9)

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8:50am Mon 10 Jan 11

Nebs says...

Simple solution. Close it 3 months before the Olympics and announce that it will take 6 months to sort out. The government will step in and it will all be sorted in a month.
Simple solution. Close it 3 months before the Olympics and announce that it will take 6 months to sort out. The government will step in and it will all be sorted in a month. Nebs
  • Score: 0

8:55am Mon 10 Jan 11

EthanEdwards says...

Close it, demolish it and build a new one. Probably work out cheaper in the end and definitely would be quicker.
In the USA they had a collapsed freeway (after a Quake) completely replaced in 89 days. This would have been fixed months ago in the US. Why is it that every time you pass roadworks here in the UK there never seems to be any activity at all. Poor management.
Close it, demolish it and build a new one. Probably work out cheaper in the end and definitely would be quicker. In the USA they had a collapsed freeway (after a Quake) completely replaced in 89 days. This would have been fixed months ago in the US. Why is it that every time you pass roadworks here in the UK there never seems to be any activity at all. Poor management. EthanEdwards
  • Score: 0

10:53am Mon 10 Jan 11

shallotman says...

No problem, it's only taxpayers money, any sackings in the offering.
No problem, it's only taxpayers money, any sackings in the offering. shallotman
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Mon 10 Jan 11

Ian P says...

"Norman Hume, Tory county councillor in charge of highways, was unavailable to comment on whether there would be further work". I assume he was otherwise occupied in finding more grit, so that once again his department can do everything possible if we have anymore snow!!!!!
"Norman Hume, Tory county councillor in charge of highways, was unavailable to comment on whether there would be further work". I assume he was otherwise occupied in finding more grit, so that once again his department can do everything possible if we have anymore snow!!!!! Ian P
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Mon 10 Jan 11

el caballero de la noche says...

The best thing about the fly over is that at least you do not get mugged up there if you dare venture into the Pitsea area below now that is really dangerous.
The best thing about the fly over is that at least you do not get mugged up there if you dare venture into the Pitsea area below now that is really dangerous. el caballero de la noche
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Mon 10 Jan 11

daveyboy25 says...

keeps the unemployment down, as all of our roadworks they disappear then come back at a later date, there is no end to roadworks, long gone are the days of a couple of days its now a couple of years
keeps the unemployment down, as all of our roadworks they disappear then come back at a later date, there is no end to roadworks, long gone are the days of a couple of days its now a couple of years daveyboy25
  • Score: 0

11:15pm Mon 10 Jan 11

Ray1963 says...

Employ some blokes who are prepared to do some work and it might get done.
Employ some blokes who are prepared to do some work and it might get done. Ray1963
  • Score: 0

12:26am Tue 11 Jan 11

LOOM says...

el caballero de la noche wrote:
The best thing about the fly over is that at least you do not get mugged up there if you dare venture into the Pitsea area below now that is really dangerous.
Speak English, you massive c.unt.
[quote][p][bold]el caballero de la noche[/bold] wrote: The best thing about the fly over is that at least you do not get mugged up there if you dare venture into the Pitsea area below now that is really dangerous.[/p][/quote]Speak English, you massive c.unt. LOOM
  • Score: 0

1:23am Tue 11 Jan 11

westcliff willi says...

SHAMBLES, should have those responsable swinging from it , cant tell us how much it has cost and what the money has been spent on because it would cost £450 out of 12 million JOKERS
SHAMBLES, should have those responsable swinging from it , cant tell us how much it has cost and what the money has been spent on because it would cost £450 out of 12 million JOKERS westcliff willi
  • Score: 0

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