A road that was closed after being badly damaged by the 2005 Buncefield oil depot explosion will not be reopened until at least 10 years after the catastrophe.
A new timetable of action reveals that the final resurfacing of Cherry Tree Lane, in Hemel Hempstead’s Maylands Industrial Estate, will not begin until the middle of next year.
Work was delayed as roads chiefs sought to make the firms responsible for the disaster pay the repair bill – expected to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The lane’s verges have been cleared of dead vegetation, and a new drain is now being laid along the road. Tests will then be carried out to determine how much contaminated soil has to be removed.
Herts Highways spokesman Andrew Dawson said: “This work should be complete in April, including temporary patching to ensure that the road is safe to open. We will be looking to open the road once it is safe to do so.”
The British Pipeline Association wants to lay fuel pipes along the road, but will not be able to start the work – expected to take around nine months – until November.
Mr Dawson said: “The highways work is being paid for out of the insurance settlement received after the Buncefield explosion.”