THE firm in charge of the £63million Sadlers Farm fiasco has issued an “unequivocal apology” over the delays.

Birse, hired by Essex County Council to take on the mammoth project, finally said sorry during crisis talks.

The roadworks, which have caused misery for thousands of motorists, were originally supposed to finish in the spring, and then by June 27. But still the roadworks remain incomplete.

Birse issued an apology to residents for their role in the ailing project.

Derrick Louis, county councillor responsible for highways andtransportation, said: “There have been some serious issues around the management of the scheme, which we discussed with our contractor at the meeting.

“I had a very frank discussion with senior directors from Birse, and they gave an unequivocal apology for their part in the delays.”

The crisis meeting was held on Monday after county hall bosses raised serious concerns over how the project was being managed.

It has since emerged senior regional and national managers from Birse and their parent company Balfour Beatty have been drafted in to supervise the rest of the project.

Mr Louis last week said he could give no guarantees the roadworks would be finished ahead of the Olympic mountain biking event at Hadleigh Farm on August 11 and 12.

However, he said he had now been given assurances by Birse that it would be finished.

He said: “We have agreed some substantial changes to the programme for work to be completed prior to the Olympics.

“A schedule of work is being finalised and I will be able to provide full details shortly. We do not anticipate any disruption around the Olympic mountain biking in Hadleigh.

“Our priority is getting work completed as soon as possible.”

The two-year work has remodeled the Benfleet junction, removing the notorious five mini roundabouts in an effort to improve journey times.

Contractors have yet to open the A13 to four lanes in each direction.