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A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road improvement scheme, Colchester

Latest News - 22 February 2021: Ipswich Road resurfacing

Preparations are being made to close Ipswich Road to allow the final surfacing to be completed, work that has previously been delayed due to repairs to the adjacent bridge. Cowdray Bridge repairs were not part of the original scheme however damage was found while engineers were strengthening the retaining wall to the south and west of the Ipswich Road roundabout. It was necessary to delay the final phases of Ipswich road, utilising the space to check and repair the bridge to ensure any problems do not get worse, prioritising safety while reducing overall disruption of both sets of work.

Resurfacing work will start from 15th March and is expected to take two weeks. Contractors will work at night to avoid traffic delays as certain sections of the roads will need to be closed.  We will also have to implement restrictions such as temporary traffic lights whilst these final works take place

To maintain traffic movements the resurfacing has been split into two phases:

  • Phase 1 will close and resurface Ipswich Road North, Cowdray Avenue Eastbound carriageway and St Andrew’s eastbound carriageway. Harwich Road south will be used as a holding area for residents and businesses wanting to access St Andrew’s Gardens and will be marshalled by operatives.
  • Phase 2 will close and resurface Ipswich Road south, St Andrew’s Avenue Westbound carriageway and Cowdray Avenue Westbound carriageway.

Working hours will be between 8pm and 6am with the noisiest work to be carried out before 11.30pm. Please drive carefully through and around the works at these times, observing road and lane closures and traffic lights as necessary.

Read more in the latest contactor scheme update

For full traffic management details see the resurfacing pdf documents at the bottom of the page.

Highway Schemes Homepage

Works Location



Ipswich Road roundabout 



Harwich Road roundabout 

A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road improvement scheme, Colchester

About the scheme

We are pleased to announce that Eurovia have been awarded the contract and begun construction of this improvement scheme in September 2018 and are planned to remain on site until Summer 2020. The work start date has changed however the expected duration is planned to remain the same. The whole project is expected to be finished, with improved traffic flow through the whole area towards the latter part of 2020. The Harwich Road roundabout up to Ipswich Road roundabout is still planned to be completed this summer.

The scheme will see the replacement of the double roundabouts located at Ipswich Road and Harwich Road with a single roundabout at each location. The carriageway between Ipswich Road and Harwich Road junctions will also be widened to accommodate two formal lanes in each direction. The scheme will include upgrading existing pedestrian crossings to signal controlled crossings and general improvements to the current off-carriageway cycle and footway provisions.

The scheme will improve the performance of these two key intersections on the A133 and renewal of the infrastructure will reduce maintenance costs. It will also improve the existing highway assets including the strengthening of two retaining walls, one between Ipswich Road roundabout and the adjoining railway line and another between Ipswich Road roundabout and the Waitrose Car Park. The Scheme has also supported the Cowdray Bridge refurbishment, now being progressed separately through the structures capital maintenance programme.

It is recognised that this is a traffic sensitive site and local residents and businesses will have a keen interest in the work phases and traffic management.   With this in mind, we held a ‘Meet the Contractor’ drop-in session with the Eurovia team to discuss the arrangements in place on Wednesday 5th September 2018.  We were pleased with the turnout and received positive feedback, especially around the road layout, crossing upgrades, the new zebra crossing and the new slip lanes. We hope that we were able to reassure residents and provide contacts for any future correspondence.

Various temporary Road closures will be required during the project, the sections of road affected will be Ipswich road (to the south and the north of the roundabout) and Harwich Road (to the south of the roundabout). Directly affected residents/businesses will be notified in advance through letter drops and signage on site. Also we will be making a continued effort to support all communications by putting updates out via our website and Social media. A single road only to be shut at any one time. 




How will it affect you?

Whilst efforts will be made to keep traffic congestion to a minimum throughout these improvements, it is recognised that works will be undertaken in traffic sensitive areas and there is likely to be disruption to normal traffic flows.  Motorists are advised to allow extra time travelling through the area.

To view information regarding other works in the area please also visit

Pedestrian diversions will be in place where necessary and advertised locally.

Frequently asked questions 

Click on the question to reveal/hide the answer:

Why do you have to have so many barriers to close lanes when work is not taking place in that area?
Why can’t you remove the barriers in one area of the site while you work on another?
Where can I find the traffic management information?
Why is the traffic management changing during the project?
Why are you closing pavements and cycleways during phases of the work? As a pedestrian or a cyclist, how do I find information on safe ways through the works?
Why will it take so long to do the work?
Why can’t you have more people working on more of the site to reduce the total time taken for the works?
Why do you think one roundabout will be more efficient and safer than the mini-roundabouts currently?
Why can’t you work nights and weekends to speed up the work and reduce delays?
What sort of work do you have to do that adds up to the works long duration?
Where can I find out what you’ve done and what works will be happening next week and after that?
Did you plan for the level of congestion, disruption and delays affecting the area when you planned the scheme?
What is the real cost of the scheme to ECC?
Is the Ipswich Road closure needed and why is it longer than previous closures?
What is involved in the piling works?

Bridge issues

Why did we not find the problem at the bridge earlier?
Why is it our responsibility, not Network Rail?
Why don’t we complete Ipswich Road roundabout and then come back to repair the bridge?
When was the bridge due to be inspected?

Further information

Updates will be available via this webpage including changes to the work programme, updated frequently asked questions, details regarding traffic arrangements such as temporary closures as well as local signage and information will also be available on our twitter feed @essexhighways

If you have any queries, please contact the Essex County Council customer services team by telephone: 0345 603 7631 or by completing the online form


A133 Ipswich Road Scheme - Current Design Harwich Road Roundbout (1.74 MB)PDF07/09/2018
A133 Ipswich Road Scheme - Current Design Ipswich Road Roundbout (1.67 MB)PDF07/09/2018
A133 Ipswich Road Scheme - Ipswich Road South Diversion Route (1.67 MB)PDF07/09/2018
A133 Ipswich Road Scheme - Harwich Road South Diversion Route (312.3 KB)PDF17/01/2019
A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road - FAQ's - Updated May 2019 (92.04 KB)PDF16/05/2019
A133 Ipswich Road Scheme - Current Traffic Management Layout 03/05/2019 (709.36 KB)PDF03/05/2019
A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road - Scheme Update from Contractor - 06/09/2019 (1.49 MB)PDF10/09/2019
A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road - Scheme Update from Contractor - 16/09/2019 (1.92 MB)PDF17/09/2019
A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road - Scheme Update from Contractor - 30/09/2019 (1.73 MB)PDF03/10/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 7/10/2019 (1.25 MB)PDF10/10/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 14/10/2019 (1.41 MB)PDF16/10/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 28/10/2019 (1.49 MB)PDF01/11/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 4/11/2019 (1.61 MB)PDF07/11/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 11/11/2019 (1.91 MB)PDF13/11/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 18/11/2019 (2.18 MB)PDF24/11/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 2/12/2019 (1.84 MB)PDF04/12/2019
Scheme Update from Contractor - 9/12/2019 (2.55 MB)PDF19/12/2019
Traffic Management Plan (2.27 MB)PDF08/01/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 20/1/2020 (1.99 MB)PDF24/01/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 5/2/2020 (1.86 MB)PDF05/02/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 10/2/2020 (2.31 MB)PDF10/02/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 9/3/2020 (2.21 MB)PDF10/03/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 1/5/2020 (1.85 MB)PDF04/05/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 17/5/2020 (2.41 MB)PDF22/05/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 1/6/2020 (2.19 MB)PDF03/06/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 6/7/2020 (2.1 MB)PDF07/07/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor -27/07/2020 (1.87 MB)PDF31/07/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 10/8/2020 (1.84 MB)PDF10/08/2020
Scheme Update from Contractor - 4/9/2020 (2.81 MB)PDF04/09/2020
Scheme update from the contractor 15/10/20 (2.12 MB)PDF15/10/2020
A133 Southbound Traffic Management (7.07 MB)PDF11/11/2020
A133 Southbound Traffic Management insert (1.62 MB)PDF11/11/2020
A133 Northbound Traffic Management (6.97 MB)PDF11/11/2020
A133 Northbound Traffic Management insert (1.13 MB)PDF11/11/2020
Scheme update from the contractor 4/12/20 (2.21 MB)PDF06/12/2020
Scheme update from the contractor 22/2/21 (1.57 MB)PDF22/02/2021
A133 resurfacing north section 1 (970.29 KB)PDF22/02/2021
A133 resurfacing north section 2 (733.79 KB)PDF22/02/2021
A133 resurfacing south section 1 (453.7 KB)PDF22/02/2021
A133 resurfacing south section 2 (470.29 KB)PDF22/02/2021