Motorists face an extra six weeks of traffic misery approaching Chester after it was confirmed that roadworks at the Posthouse roundabout will not be completed until May.
The delay, which will infuriate long-suffering drivers on the A483 and A55, has been blamed on 'adverse weather' and 'problems with drainage and bridge strengthening works'.
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas asked Transport Minister John Hayes for confirmation of the end date for the roadworks – originally due to finish on March 31 – and has been told that they won’t be completed until May 10.
Drivers have been hit by a series of severe delays since the £5.3m project to tackle congestion on the A483 up to the Posthouse roundabout began in September last year.
Just last week, motorists were stuck in jams for up to two hours after the temporary signals at the junction with Wrexham Road got stuck on red – and the engineer sent out to fix the problem got caught up in the tailbacks.
Mr Lucas said: “I have been pushing ministers to take charge of this situation for weeks – it is clear there are big problems with these works.
“It was only last week that motorists faced delays because of traffic lights – with the engineer who was supposed to fix the lights caught up in the traffic himself.
“While it was inevitable that some delays will occur when a large project like this is carried out, I do think that there have been real problems with the way these works have been managed.
“Those problems have caused major disruption for businesses and members of the public, and ministers now say the work will continue for a further month at least. They should look at this project, work out what has gone wrong – and apologise.”
Responding to a Parliamentary written question tabled by Mr Lucas on Monday, Mr Hayes said: “The original timetable for the works had a programmed completion date of March 31.
“In the current timetable this date has been revised to May 10, 2015.
“This slippage is due to adverse weather, and problems encountered with drainage and bridge strengthening works.
“The agency has been assessing with its contractors how the remaining work can be completed to the original programme and will make every effort to complete the works as soon as possible.”
A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said: "The work on the A55/A483 pinch point scheme has unfortunately been delayed. This is a complex junction-widening project, which has already delivered two new sets of traffic lights on the A483 junction and replaced a mini roundabout.
“The current completion date for the project is now 10 May 2015. The delay has been caused by problems with drainage and bridge strengthening work.
“We are sorry about the delay to the completion of the scheme and we understand the frustrations felt by drivers experiencing delays at the junction. We will continue to work closely with our contractors to minimise the impact on road users in the area.
“Once complete, drivers will see major improvements to their journeys, with extra capacity at the junction and improved traffic flow reducing congestion."