Stevenage roadworks delay - your questions answered

The roadworks in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, are not expected to be complete until mid-December

The roadworks in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, are not expected to be complete until mid-December - Credit: Archant

The Comet put readers’ questions to Herts County Council, asking why the Six Hills Way roadworks in Stevenage have been delayed yet again.

• Was the site inspected properly prior to the works beginning?

HCC: The bridge at Six Hills Way was inspected and surveyed before the works commenced. However, the differences between the original technical specifications and the actual structure were not apparent until after work had commenced. The problem encountered could only have been uncovered in advance by an intrusive destructive investigation. There wasn’t sufficient reason to justify that such an investigation was necessary.

• How many people are regularly working on site? What hours do they work?

HCC: Typically there are between three and 10 people working on the site, depending on planned activities for that day. Site hours broadly match daylight hours for health and safety reasons. We would expect the site to be attended weekdays and Saturdays during daylight hours. There is no work on Sunday due to noise restrictions. However, there may be periods when no work can be carried out e.g. while concrete is curing or wet weather holds up work. Often, work is being carried out underneath the bridge which isn’t readily visible from the road.

• How much extra are the delays going to cost the council?

HCC: The financial impact of the delay remains minimal but we are anticipating about a 10 per cent increase in costs due to increased scope for the works (equating to just short of £35,000).

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• Will the contractor, Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, be fined for these delays?

HCC: As the delays are caused by the unexpected physical condition of the original bridge, it would be inappropriate to penalise the contractor for an issue out of their immediate control.

• Can a mid-December completion date be guaranteed or is there a risk of yet another delay?

HCC: A completion date is weather dependent. The recent wet weather prevented critical waterproofing works on the concrete beams being completed. However, this work was completed yesterday and we therefore have extra confidence the contractor’s estimate of a mid December finish is achievable.

• Is HCC going to recognise the level of inconvenience caused to the people of Stevenage?

We appreciate that this is an important road in Stevenage and understand that the extended closure is likely to cause continued disruption to road users. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused but these are essential maintenance works which can only be carried out with a full road closure for the safety of the workers and all road users.