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Crunch meeting over Sadlers Farm delays
A CRISIS meeting will be held by council bosses and contractors over the Sadlers Farm roadworks.
The meeting will take place on Monday after Essex County Council admitted it had missed another deadline for the completion of the £63million project.
The two-year roadworks were designed to remodel the notorious Benfleet junction and improve journey times in south Essex.
But they were originally supposed to finish in the spring and then by yesterday, but both deadlines have passed and there are still no guarantees the work will be finished by the time the Olympic mountain bike event takes place at Hadleigh Farm, on August 11 and 12.
In an exclusive interview with the Echo, Derek Louis, county councillor responsible for highways, said the meeting between senior council staff and those from contractors Birse Civils would address concerns over how the project has been handled.
Mr Louis said: “The priority is to get the roadworks finished as quickly as possible, but obviously we will be looking at the issues which have caused this delay.
“We recognise there have been problems with the management of the scheme, and will be having a meeting to discuss this.
“I hope to be able to give more details about what there is left to be completed and when it will be done by after this meeting. This is a hugely complex project and we are very disappointed not to be able to finish it on time.”
Mr Louis said the council was unable to provide a reason for the delay and a new deadline for the project until after the meeting.
He is also in negotiations with Olympic bosses, who had originally requested the project was finished by June at the latest.
Mr Louis said: “We hope to be able to have the scheme finished prior to the Olympics, but the majority is operational and we are not anticipating trafiic flow problems.”