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A133 Ipswich Road/Harwich Road improvement scheme, Colchester

Latest News - 21 May 2020: Ipswich Road/Harwich Road - Road closed on bank holiday Monday as piling work resumes on Ipswich Road (South)

Major road widening work on the A133 in Colchester has now resumed, with essential piling works to the Network Rail retaining wall area taking place as well as completing minor works in this section while the roads are quieter.

Due to this work Ipswich Road South will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May.

A vital part of the road improvement scheme on the A133 Ipswich Road to Harwich Road is to widen the roundabout at Ipswich Road.

More road space needs to be created and this can only be done by strengthening the road next to the railway line south of the A133, using piling.

Ipswich Road south is due to be closed for up to three weeks from the evening of 25th May to 15th June with the road expected to be reopened by 16th June. The road has to be closed while piling is done on the retaining wall for workforce and public safety.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “The new layout of the roundabout requires steel and concrete piling to be inserted to support the retaining wall for the road. Space must be left between the piling operation and the public for safety, so Ipswich Road (south) will be closed during the work.

“By competing this major job while traffic volumes are lower we are minimising the impact on the network.  I am conscious that the roads are becoming busier again and we will re-open it as quickly as possible to keep inconvenience to a minimum for everyone.”

Work will be carried out between 7am and 8pm, however due to safety reasons the road closure is required at all times. Some of the works being undertaken will require the use of noisy equipment and may cause some disturbance, however we will try and complete these activities when they will cause the least inconvenience.

Full access will be maintained for local residents, pedestrians, cyclists and businesses, with signs indicating business open as usual wherever appropriate. A suitable signed diversion route will be provided.

Bus operators have been informed of the closures so that any necessary adjustments can be made to their services. Notices will be displayed on the affected bus stops and suitable temporary alternatives will be provided.
Please note that programmed dates may be subject to change, however the latest information will be displayed on advance warning signs on site.

We would encourage residents and businesses to also check this webpage on the Essex Highways website for the latest updates including any changes to traffic management arrangements.

You can also check the @Essexhighways twitter feed and for information about other works in the area.

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 have 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 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?

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 - 23/3/2020 (2.38 MB)PDF24/03/2020
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