WORK on a multi-million pound project to build a new crossing over the River Trent will not resume until 2014 at the earliest, the Mail can reveal.
Drakelow Developments Ltd said no more work could be undertaken on a new bypass around Walton on Trent until further progress was made on the early phases of the nearby 2,200-home Drakelow Park site.
The bypass work began in September 2011, and was expected to be completed by February this year.
However, legal wrangles and poor winter weather have been blamed for major delays, with the first phase of the bypass only just being completed.
Chris Chatfield (pictured), fromDrakelow Developments Ltd, said: “The next phase of Walton bypass will come forward in accordance with the planning permission and early phases of the Drakelow Park development.
“The first phase of Walton Bypass has now been completed. During this summer the contractor, Sir Robert McAlpines, was on site undertaking some additional work to the new drainage which will manage the flood water run-off, as well as reseeding, landscaping and fencing.
“We will be reviewing the drainage solutions during the winter and undertaking any further work as necessary.”
The bypass around Walton is set to reduce the 8,000 vehicles, including 300 lorries, which travel through the village, surrounding rural roads and parts of Burton and Stapenhill every day.
It is eventually set to see a multi-lane road built to connect the A38 and Walton Road, spanning the River Trent.
Work on the project started eight-and- a-half years after the plans were exclusively revealed by the Mail.
At the time, developers said they hoped the new bridge could open ‘within a year’, but the project was beset by delays despite finally being approved in 2006.
Work began on the bypass after planning permission was finally secured for the Drakelow Park scheme.
The work will eventually see the closure of the single-lane and heavily congested Bailey bridge, currently used to travel between Burton and Swadlincote.