The third lane on the southbound stretch of the A130 between Rettendon and Howe Green will open to motorists on Sunday.

CountyRoute, which maintains the A130 on behalf of Essex County Council, will need to close the carriageway for three nights from Thursday, 12 April, between 8pm and 6am, to open the third lane safely.

Crews have completed 1,400 metres of embankment works, despite the unseasonably wet and cold weather throwing up additional challenges. At the same time, crews have carried out 100 metres of surfacing repairs, at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The opening of the third lane had previously been delayed to reconstruct the ground alongside the carriageway as a preventative measure to protect against the possible risk of embankment slippages in the long-term.

Remedial works continue on the northbound A130 third lane, which is on schedule and expected to open by July 2018.

Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “As a local resident and cabinet member for highways, I’m delighted the 50,000 drivers who use this vital route each day will soon be able to feel the benefits of the extra capacity provided by a third lane.

“I would like to thank drivers for their patience during the works, which have come at no additional cost to the taxpayer thanks to our agreement with CountyRoute.

“I know it may have been frustrating at times, but our focus has always been to create a safe and long-lasting road that will keep Essex moving for years to come.”

Drivers are being asked to be aware of the new road layout and signage when the southbound third lane is open.

If drivers need to stop they can still pull onto the verge in an emergency, although wherever possible we would advise drivers to use the three laybys at regular intervals along the road.