£500k investment to protect key A13 junction


The investment at the Sadlers Farm junction of the A13 at Benfleet will see a new pipe installed inside an existing water main, which will mean the work can be carried out with minimal possible impact on the busy road network.

This follows an initial piece of work in late 2022 and January 2023, when Essex & Suffolk Water removed one of three pipes that serve the area from service at the point where it crossed London Road, known locally as the Tarpots Junction.

Work is due to start on the installation of the new pipe on Monday (October 30) and is likely to be completed in January. For the majority of this time, while people will notice activity taking place close to the road, all carriageways will remain open.

Near the end of the project, when the new pipe is connected to the existing local water supply network, lane closures will be in place, but the work will be carried out overnight to ensure minimum impact upon motorists.

Work has been taking place on the wider local network in recent weeks to ensure the work can take place without loss of supply to customers. Changes made as part of this process also add flexibility into the network that will make it more resilient and further protect customers’ supplies in the future.

Ian Cleaver, Essex & Suffolk Water’s Acting Head of Water Networks, said: “In 2022, traffic congestion resulted from instances of burst pipes around the Sadlers Farm junction, which is an important interchange for local people and commuters to London. We understand the frustration this has caused and have put a plan in place to do what we can to reduce the chances of such bursts occurring in the future.

“The earlier work meant that the stretch of pipe we took out of use can no longer burst. This new investment in the local network will add significant resilience to our supply pipes, and further protection from bursts for motorists and customers”.

“By using the technique of sliding a new plastic pipe inside the old water main, we avoid the need to dig a long trench – almost 1km in length – along the road and causing huge disruption to the road network. This method also significantly reduces the length of time the work will take.”

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