HS2 roadworks delayed due to ‘archaeological discovery’

Library image of Link Road, Great Missenden
Library image of Link Road, Great Missenden

The start of major HS2 roadworks in Great Missenden have been delayed after an archaeological discovery was made during a preliminary dig.

Different construction companies involved in the Chiltern stretch of the controversial high speed line met with residents in Amersham on Monday to reveal the latest details of work due to be carried out.

A new temporary haul road – which will only be used by HS2 construction traffic – will connect the A413 Great Missenden roundabout to the north portal of the Chiltern Tunnel, in a bid to keep HGVs off the smaller country roads.

Initial works to widen the two roundabouts on the A413 that connect Link Road from Great Missenden, Frith Hill, and A413 to Amersham were due to start imminently – however an archaeological discovery means the work has now been delayed to the beginning of next year.

Charlotte Hughes, from engineering contractor Fusion said exact details of the discovery are yet to be revealed, adding further archaeological works will need to be carried out to establish if there are any other historic objects.

She said: “This programme of works has been rescheduled now, so dates have changed quite considerably.

“That’s due to the fact we have done some initial archaeological works in the area.

“We have been putting in trenches, very long quite shallow pits, to have a look at what might be of interest in that area.

“We have actually come up with some interesting finds.

“We can’t yet talk about the nature of what we have found there, as it has got to be researched and investigated by the archaeologists.

“But we expect shortly HS2 Ltd will be able to talk a little bit more about what it is they have found and why they think it is worth investigating.”

Archaeological work will continue into next year, while road widening at Frith Hill roundabout will start in January.

The Great Missenden section of the roadworks project is set to finish in September 2019.

The 15.8km long Chiltern Tunnel will start just inside the M25 south of junction 17 and come out northwest of South Heath.

HS2 now plans to start tunnelling through the Chilterns in the summer of 2020, with work expected to be completed by 2023.