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Roadworks near Eccleshall delayed until mid August says Network Rail

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: July 22, 2014

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ROADWORKS at a busy junction near Eccleshall are set to overrun into August because of a trench collapse in Stafford which seriously injured a worker.

Rail firm Network Rail has apologised for the delay in completing the work at the junction of the A5013 Eccleshall Road and Chebsey Lane, Great Bridgeford, which is the second to be announced in recent weeks.

All works in the area were stopped for two weeks following the incident at the Stafford depot on July 6 but are due to start again this week, Network Rail said.

A 49-year-old man suffered crushing chest injuries, including a punctured lung, as well a back and pelvis injuries when the three-metre long trench he was working in collapsed around him, trapping him up to his chest. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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The roadwork at Great Bridgeford is being carried out to prepare the junction for construction traffic, ahead of major improvements to the railway line at Norton Bridge. It began in March and was originally scheduled to last nine weeks, but engineers have encountered a series of issues which have held it up.

At the end of June Network Rail, which is part of the Staffordshire Alliance working on the £250m rail project, announced that the roadwork was expected to be completed by July 25.

But this week residents in Eccleshall, Great Bridgeford, Little Bridgeford, Norton Bridge and Chebsey are being sent letters about the latest delay.

Staffordshire Alliance Manager Ian Jones said: “Unfortunately, throughout the works the project team has encountered a number of significant engineering challenges, which have now pushed the completion date back to mid-August, with the project team looking to mitigate delays through weekend and night working.

“The main causes of this delay have involved the location of buried services and drainage design, as well as problems relating to road surfacing/kerbing works. A number of these issues have been reliant upon off-site office based work, which explains the apparent lack of activity at the junction itself whilst redesigns were carried out.

“This was exacerbated earlier this month by a two week safety stand-down across the project following an incident elsewhere on the Stafford Area Improvements Programme, which has caused this latest setback.

“Despite the genuine reasons for the continued delay, I appreciate this is cold comfort to those affected and personally apologise for any inconvenience caused and assure you that the project team is focused on completing this work as soon as possible.”

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