RIDGING AND settlement on the £25M A10 Wadesmill bypass project in Hertfordshire have foiled contractor Fitzpatrick's hopes of opening the 7.5km of new dual carriageway eight months ahead of schedule.
Highway Agency engineers are waiting for a consultant's report into the surface failures, which is expected to be available by the end of the week.
'There is minor settlement affecting backfill to some of the bridges on the bypass, but this is being resolved, ' an Agency spokeswoman said.
'The main problem is related to pavement construction. Some minor surface defects occurred close to the bridges after wet weather in January, and remedial work will be needed.'
Sand and gravel from a cutting on the project was processed on site and used as backfill to some of the bridges, which all feature integral construction.
However it was found to be too susceptible to frost heave to be used below the main carriageways (NCE 13 February 2003).
Fitzpatrick therefore opted for full depth flexible construction on a lime-stabilised capping layer.
The Agency insisted that the road would still open on schedule in August.