Freezing temperatures, last minute construction glitches and a busy schedule of roadworks nearby have pushed the opening of the Shinfield Eastern Relief Road (SERR) into early next year.
The recent freezing weather hampered crucial overnight resurfacing on the A327 Arborfield Road roundabout, which had been due to take place 28 November to 3 December.
This work had been timed to avoid conflict with other nearby roadworks on the network – in this instance the overnight closure of Basingstoke Road and Hyde End Road from 12 to 16 December. Space in that area for roadworks and diversion routes is now not free until the week of 19 December.
There are also some quality issues below the road surface itself which needs to be fully addressed before the final layer can be put down and the road is opened to traffic.
Hochtief, which is building the road on behalf of the University of Reading, will publicise the revised opening date in due course.
“In our role in this project as the licensing and adopting authority we’ve proposed the opening of the relief road should be delayed until next year, said Cllr Malcolm Richards, executive member for highways and transport at Wokingham Borough Council.
“Of course we recognise how frustrating this delay is for people living in Shinfield and motorists trying to use the route every day, but we truly believe this decision to be in everyone’s best interests.
“We want to give them a new road free of defects, without the risk of more construction work in the future with all the disruption that would cause.”
The new mile and a quarter long relief road connects the Black Boy Roundabout to Arborfield Road, passing east of Shinfield. It also includes a new six lane bridge over the M4, with the old one now refurbished solely for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
The relief road will serve the University of Reading’s new science and innovation park, as well as new homes in South of M4 Strategic Development Location.