HIGHWAYS bosses say they are now ready to begin work fixing a problem that has delayed the opening of the full new road to Peterborough.
The new A16, which replaces the accident ridden A1073, will eventually link Spalding and Peterborough but is yet to open south of Crowland due to a crack at the embankment for the new Car Dyke bridge.
Test have been carried out on the problem embankment and Lincolnshire County Council’s highways team says it has now got to the bottom of the matter and expects work to fix it will begin this week.
Elaine Turner, head of highways – technical services, said: “Sensitive monitoring equipment has been used to take extensive readings over a period of time to measure what is happening under the embankment.
“What we have discovered is that the weight of the embankment has caused historic slip surfaces - or shear planes - to open up, meaning the clay under the embankment is now sliding on itself.
“We have consequently looked at several solutions to find the best long-term action in preventing any future movement and work will restart on the site to implement the remedial works this week.
“For everyone’s safety, we will only open the road when this geological issue has been rectified and we thank everyone for their patience.”
The £80m road is not expected to open until the early summer - almost a year after the Spalding to Crowland stretch first opened to vehicles in August.
Crowland parish councillor Reg Boot said local farmers knew of the problems before construction began on the road - but welcomed news of progress to fix it.
Coun Boot said: “It will please a lot of people becase the old A1073 is suffering between Crowland and Eye, it’s not in a very good condition at all. They’ve done patch works but it is rough patching.
“Everyone will be delighted when the road finally opens.
“People in the area knew what they have found out already, not that they listen to the locals. The experts know best apparently - it’s the same with the roundabout that we wanted at radar corner.”
Coun Boot says he is still frustrated that English Heritage demanded a bridge at Car Dyke in the first place - feeling the site is of no historical importance.
He says the Roman canal system was largely filled in when the parkways were built on the outskirts of Peterborough.
He added: “I do have a bee in my bonnet about English Heritage - I can’t understand why they wanted a bridge there.”