Progress Update on the A6 Wilstead Bypass Reconstruction By Kirill AdobeStock_172838052

“wrong type of pipe” used in the original construction

The completion date for the project to rebuild the A6 past Wilstead has been delayed to March 2020, after on-site testing revealed that more works are required than originally thought.

This stretch of road was originally built in the 1970s, but had become too dangerous for normal road use after its foundations had collapsed. Extensive work on the project has already been completed. Such as the removal of the road surface and the removal of the old road foundations.

The existing drainage ditches have also been cleared, and work has begun to install a new drainage system along the whole length of road. Over the next few weeks, work will continue to build the new road from the Luton Road direction and the new drainage system will be completed.

After on-site testing it became apparent that the existing pipe system is not fit for purpose and is in a much worse state than indicated in pre-works surveys and testing. It was found that the wrong type of pipe was used in the original construction and that there were unsealed joints between the pipes.

This means that the ground has been saturated with water over the years which caused movement in the road and the large cracks that had been appearing in the road surface.

As a result, the design has had to change to ensure the strength of the new road foundation, with more failed material having to be removed than was expected.

This extra work means the whole project will take longer, with an expected completion date of the end of March 2020.

A Borough Council spokesperson said:

“We apologise for the inconvenience these extra works and resulting delays will cause to residents who use this stretch of the A6 and who live in nearby villages.

“A leaflet has been delivered to residents in the area to make them aware. It is crucial that we do this job right and that the repairs to this road are fit for the long-term future.”