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Herts County Council appoints contractor for £30m A120 Little Hadham bypass

Traffic on the A120 at Little Hadham. (7174404)
Traffic on the A120 at Little Hadham. (7174404)

Hertfordshire County Council has identified its preferred contractor to begin work on the £30m A120 Little Hadham bypass and flood alleviation scheme this summer.

Civil engineering company GRAHAM Group, which operates from 23 regional offices in the UK and Ireland, is promising to minimise disruption for motorists.

The issue of a Letter of Intent now enables GRAHAM to start preparation by mobilising its team and addressing planning conditions, ready for a start of the main works on site this summer.

Subject to final approvals, the contract is expected to be signed in April.

Leo Martin, managing director of GRAHAM’s civil engineering division, said: “We’re looking forward to beginning work with Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency on this important highways regeneration scheme.

“The benefits of the scheme are very important to Little Hadham, and we will be adopting a collaborative approach that will help us minimise disruption during construction works, to provide a bypass that will improve journey times and reduce congestion and flood risks in the area.

“Our team is vastly experienced in completing complex highways projects throughout the UK and we expect to deliver a new bypass of the highest standard that residents in the area can be proud of.”

Its previous contracts include 70 individual work programmes as part of a major highways improvement scheme across the East of England network, extending from Peterborough to Norwich, through to Lowestoft via Great Yarmouth.

Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency have worked in partnership to develop the A120 scheme. As part of the planned 3.9km northern bypass of the village, new road embankments along the River Ash and Albury tributary will act as flood defences for the village.

The majority of funding will come from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has granted around £27.4m. The Environment Agency will be contributing towards the flood alleviation.

Planning permission for the project, which aims to ease traffic congestion from The Ash traffic lights in Little Hadham, was granted in January 2017.

The proposals are for a northern bypass of the A120, along the boundary of Albury parish, comprising a single-carriageway road, verges, roundabout junctions, bridges, embankments, landscaping and associated engineering over an area of 100 acres (40.5 hectares). Drainage work to protect 72 homes will be carried out.

New roundabouts will link the bypass to the existing A120 – between Hadham Park and Hadham Lodge at Bishop’s Stortford in the east, and between The Ash and Albury End Road junction in the west.

After objectors forced a public inquiry last July, the bypass and flood alleviation scheme orders were confirmed by the Government in October.

Cllr Phil Bibby, HCC's cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “The A120 is a vital link in Hertfordshire, and with traffic on the county’s roads predicted to increase up to 20% over the next 15 years, it’s important that we invest in improving the route.

"The bypass and flood alleviation scheme will help support the growth we’re expecting in the county while improving quality of life in the Little Hadham area.”

Darsha Gill, area flood and coastal risk manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased to be reducing flood risk within Little Hadham and will continue to work closely with Hertfordshire County Council to achieve the outcomes identified for the project.”

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