Albury Road has reopened following two months of closure while critical work was undertaken in support of the A120 bypass and flood alleviation scheme, part-funded by Hertfordshire LEP.

During this time, the road was realigned onto the new bridge over the new bypass. The work included the installation of drainage, kerbs, road surfacing, white lining, signage, landscaping and utility diversions along the 900m stretch of road. This positive progress means that heavy construction machinery will no longer need to navigate the road network, alleviating pressure and disruption on local roads.

The new 3.9km bypass, to the north of Little Hadham, will alleviate congestion along the route caused by the Little Hadham traffic lights and provide more reliable journey times. As part of the scheme, new road embankments along the River Ash and Albury Tributary will act as flood defences to reduce risk to the village and other nearby communities.

The scheme will improve air quality and also ultimately benefit the county’s economy, with quicker transport links to Stansted Airport among the long-term advantages for Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire County Council have worked in partnership with the Environment Agency to develop the scheme which includes flood alleviation measures. 

The scheme is primarily supported by a Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and additional funding secured by the LEP from the Department for Transport, as part of a wider funding package with Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency.

Adam Wood, Head of Infrastructure and Regeneration at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “We are pleased to see work progressing at pace on the Little Hadham bypass, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This much-awaited scheme will make a marked difference to local residents, businesses and commuters for many years to come, and will future-proof this key section of Hertfordshire’s road network to accommodate further growth.”

Members of the project team posed for a socially distant photograph and celebration to mark the opening of the road on Monday 29 June.

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “I was delighted to be able to safely join some of the project team on site to mark the completion of the first key structure along the route. I would like to thank the contractor, GRAHAM, and all of the wider team for their continued efforts in ensuring this project keeps moving despite the unprecedented circumstances they have found themselves working in during the pandemic.

“I would like also like to extend my thanks to the local community for their continued cooperation and patience. Due to the uncertainties associated with the current public health crisis we are reviewing the programme and working methods on a regular basis.”

Leo Martin, Managing Director, GRAHAM (Civil Engineering division) added: “We’re very pleased to mark the completion and reopening of Albury Road, which will be welcomed by motorists and residents alike. We’re now looking forward to delivering the next stage of the scheme, which once complete will bring multiple benefits to Hertfordshire.

“The project has brought many new challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team’s commitment to progressing the scheme has been outstanding.”

Despite excellent progress, social distancing measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are having an impact on the overall efficiency and productivity of key construction activities on site. Following a detailed review, Hertfordshire County Council and partners have revised the expected completion date to late summer 2021.

To find out more about the A120 bypass and flood alleviation scheme, please visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/a120bypass.

You can also keep up to date with activity across the site by viewing drone and time lapse footage hosted on the project’s own YouTube Channel.