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A120 closures ahead as Little Hadham bypass construction continues

Relocation of rare Roman snails has held up work on the new A120 Little Hadham bypass and flood alleviation scheme.

As part of the £30m relief road project, contractors had to clear dense vegetation from the bank of the River Ash at Upwick Green. They found that the embankments to the north-west and south-east of the bridge have been eroded by the river and needed strengthening.

But before the stabilisation could proceed, Roman snails – Helix pomatia – had to be moved to a safe new habitat nearby, and their relocation was delayed by bad weather and high water levels.

A120 road closures (44308121)
A120 road closures (44308121)

However, highways authority Herts County Council says the protected species is now safely in its new home and work on the banks can begin again.

As a result, the Upwick Green road will be closed for five weeks – from 8pm on Monday March 22 to 5am on Sunday April 25 – as part of Environment Agency efforts to protect 72 homes from floodwaters from the River Ash, Albury Tributary and Lloyd Taylor Drain in Little Hadham and Hadham Ford.

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

A120 road closures (44308123)
A120 road closures (44308123)

The proposals are for a northern bypass of the A120, along the boundary of Albury parish, comprising a 2.4-mile (3.9km) single-carriageway road, verges, roundabout junctions, bridges, embankments, landscaping and associated engineering over an area of 100 acres (40.5 hectares).

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.

As work progresses, the A120 Standon Road (Tilekiln roundabout) will continue to have traffic lights in operation between 9am and 4pm until Sunday February 28.

There will be overnight closures of the A120 between Bishop's Stortford and Puckeridge from 10pm to 5am on Friday February 19 and Saturday February 20.

Full weekend closures are planned from 10pm on Fridays April 30, May 7 and May 14. Construction of a new Hadham Park roundabout will require full weekend closures from 10pm on Fridays May 21, May 28 and June 4. The road is scheduled to reopen at 5am on each following Monday.

During each weekend closure, traffic between Stortford and Puckeridge will be diverted via the A1184 to Harlow, across the A414 to Ware and north on the A10.

The bypass is expected to be completed this summer.

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