A DATE for the completion of bridge repairs has been announced after delays halted the project.

Essex Highways started work on the Hoe Mill Bridge, between Ulting and Woodham Walter, in August and said they would continue until mid-November.

The road closure has now been provisionally extended to May this year.

In the meantime, workers have restarted their erosion protection works with rock rolls being lifted into reinforce the riverbed and works to rebuild the embankment continuing.

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “As part of the upstream riverbed profiling works, rock rolls have been installed.

“Minor concrete repairs to the supporting columns on the bridge have started.

“Due to the recent wet weather, the water levels have risen significantly, reducing the working room under the bridge, slowing progress. The contractors continue to work hard to complete as much as possible with the working room available under the bridge at the time.”

Erosion protection was put in place for the bridge which carries The Causeway over the Chelmer in Woodham Walter, south of Ulting.

Since autumn last year, the bridge has been closed 24 hours a day.

Diversions have been put in place to go to Hoe Mill Lock via The Causeway, Crouchmans Farm Road, Ulting Road, Maldon Road (B1019), Hatfield Road, Langford Road, Heybridge Approach (B1018), Spital Road, A414, Herbage Park Road, Church Hill, Oak Corner, The Street, Rectory Road and Hoe Mill Road.