The A602 improvement project, led by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), has been hit by lengthy delays. 

The final phase of A602 improvements between Stevenage and Ware began in summer 2020, and had been expected to take around 18 months – meaning a completion date of early 2022.

However, HCC now expects the work to finish in summer 2023. 

The delay has been caused by faults in a newly constructed bridge near Sacombe Pound, between Watton-at-Stone and Tonwell. HCC are working with contractor Tilbury Douglas on the project. 

Until the bridge is completed, Sacombe Pound is closed to all traffic between Sacombe Green Road and the A602 Ware Road, causing significant disruption to residents of Sacombe village.

According to a HCC statement, construction of the bridge is “ongoing” and “there is a delay in opening the road due to possible defects that have been identified.” 

A series of further checks and assessments have been commissioned to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge before the road can open to traffic. 

It is expected that the bridge will fully open by summer 2023, and a more accurate date will be provided once investigations are complete. 

Cllr Phil Bibby, executive member for highways and transport, said: “We’d like to thank local residents, businesses and road users for their patience while the remaining works are finished. 

“We want to ensure the road and bridge are constructed as intended and provide many years of useful service on this busy part of the highway network.” 

Other improvement works have already been completed, such as those on the A119 roundabout and the new turn left lane which opened in June this year.