LARGE-scale repairs which should finally see the new £80 million Peterborough to Spalding bypass open remain on schedule, but have proven much more costly than first expected.
Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed it is on target to hit its revised opening date of mid-October for the four-mile stretch of road between Peterborough and Crowland.
Cracks in the asphalt caused by an unstable embankment at Car Dyke Bridge, found in August of last year, made the road unsafe for motorists.
The cost of repairs, estimated at £4million ahead of the summer, has now risen to about £5million.
A spokeswoman for the council said the increased cost was because the volume of earth that needed to be removed as part of the project could only be estimated ahead of the work.
Senior project leader Lee Rowley added: “The authority will endeavour to recover any costs attributable to third parties.”
There is confidence, though, that the problems of 2010’s aborted opening have been addressed.
Mr Rowley said: “Work has been going at a great pace over the summer to fix the problems with the new road that emerged last year.
“The embankment has been rebuilt and drainage and surfacing work is being carried out now.
“We’re confident the issues have been resolved and the equipment that has been installed to monitor movement is indicating there are no problems.”
An exact opening date is hard to judge at this point, due in part to the weather.
The authority needs good weather because resurfacing and also white lining is affected by the rain.
Mr Rowley added: “If the good weather holds to allow the final work to be completed, we’ll still be on target to open in mid-October.
“I’m sure people will be looking forward to using a safer road with quicker journey times once it’s fully open.”
The road, which meets the A47 near Eye, is due to link with the 11-mile stretch between Crowland and Spalding, which opened in August 2010.
The road will be called the A16 and will take traffic off the notorious A1073 between Eye Green and Spalding.
The works are funded by both the county council and Peterborough City Council, with extra money supplied by the Government.
Councillor David Sanders, city councillor for Eye and Thorney, said he was “overjoyed” the project was on target to be completed in October, but described the work – both in terms of its costings and as a civil engineering project – as “a shambles”.
He did, however, say the value of the road to the area would be “immense”.
He said: “The A1073 is a notorious route for death and injury. I’m really pleased we have not had too many as a result of the delay.
“Our roads are always getting busier. For our area, with the Thorney bypass and now A1073 it’s going to make using the road a lot easier and safer for people.”
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