HIGHWAYS chiefs have confirmed work on the Southern Link Road has been temporarily halted because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
The major project to tackle congestion at the notorious traffic blackspot is among a number of projects to be suspended by Worcestershire County Council in a bid to tackle the COVID-19 virus.
Other projects in the county to be paused include the Pinvin crossroad near Pershore, Churchfields in Kidderminster and the A38 between the M5 and M42 in Bromsgrove.
The decision was made due to staff shortages, problems with sourcing construction materials and the need to minimise workers travelling to sites, sometimes from considerable distances using public transport or multi-occupancy vehicles.
Emergency works will continue around the county to ensure transport networks remain open for residents.
Coun Ken Pollock, cabinet member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “This decision is not one taken lightly but given the current unprecedented situation, controlling the spread of Covid-19 is our number one priority.
“Of course as a county, we want to remain Open for Business and once the national restrictions are lifted, I’m looking forward to seeing work on our major projects continue but only when it is safe to do so.
“In the meantime work continues apace on feasibility work, project design and the preparation of business cases for future projects – mostly by staff working from home,” he added.
The sites will be left in a safe and secure condition and will be inspected on a regular basis. Work will resume once it is considered safe and appropriate to do so.
On sites where more work is needed to make the area safe, staff will have to comply with the recently issued construction industry’s Site Operating Procedures. This means if any worker has Covid-19 symptoms they will not be allowed to access sites.
Workers who do attend sites will have to comply with strict hygiene measures and procedures to minimise interaction between staff.