A 7km stretch of the new 21km long A1073 road − which is believed to be the biggest greenfield road project in the country − has remained closed after cracking was detected in an embankment and the road in July last year due to subsidence problems.
2010 due date
Work on the project began in March 2008 and the road was meant to open in August 2010.
But Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) senior project lead Lee Rowley said 200m of cracking was found on an approach embankment to Car Dyke Bridge.
This caused further cracking in the road on the section between Eye, north of Peterborough, and Crowland.
“We did a lot of investigation of the embankment and the underlying ground and a lot of excavations were carried out,” he said.
“We found relic sheer surfaces with underlying weathered Oxford clay. There were discontinuities in the clay which slipped under loading and shifted to one side,” he explained.
Rowley said the problem had now been fixed and after a 14 month delay the road should be fully opened at the weekend.
“We have rebuilt the embankment and installed 200m of piling,” he said. This will strengthen the substructure.
A further 14km stretch between Crowland and Spalding has been opened to traffic since the initial opening date but traffic was diverted from the affected section and onto an older road parallel to the new road.
“At the moment we are just trying to get the thing built and opened”
Lincolnshire County Council senior project lead Lee Rowley
Jacobs was LCC’s original consultant for the project carrying out the work under the council’s professional services partnership framework covering roads in the county.
In April 2010 the framework was retendered and Mouchel won the new contract.
Jacobs continued to work on the project to see it through to completion, while Mouchel has been carrying out an independent supervisory role on behalf of the council.
Morgan Sindall is the contractor and it remains part of Lincolnshire’s framework.
Rowley said there would be an investigation into the project, which has cost the council an extra £5M but he could not say when it would begin.
“At the moment we are just trying to get the thing built and opened,” he said.
“It’s cost about £5M on top of the £80M total for the project. The Department for Transport contributed £69.8M and Lincolnshire County Council contributed the rest.
“We are working with Peterborough [City Council] on the scheme, but we are the lead on the project as we provided the funding.”
When the route is eventually opened, it will no longer be called the A1073 but will be renamed