WORK at Hurn roundabout will finish late - and overlap with the next phase of the Blackwater Junction improvements, council officials say.

The £750,000 Hurn scheme, which began in May, was due to end late next month. However, work is now not expected to finish until October. The improvements at Blackwater - which will see extra lane capacity towards the Cooper Dean roundabout in a bid to reduce delays - are set to begin in September and continue for 10 months.

Engineers began working at the roundabout in Hurn days later than planned over supply issues.

The same issue is responsible for the late conclusion of the works. Delays to SSE cable diversion work beginning has had a "knock-on effect" on the remaining construction, the council says.

This Sunday, August 19, engineers will work overnight to divert the high voltage cable. Three-way temporary traffic lights will be in place at the roundabout during the work.

The following Thursday, August 23, further overnight works will take place to divert the low voltage cable. The roundabout will be closed to all traffic from 8pm that evening.

Councillor Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: “I’m pleased that we now have confirmed dates for the electricity cable diversions.

"Although the construction work involved in this project seems minimal it has been extremely complex due to the high number of utilities in the area – which have to be moved away from the new alignment of the roundabout.

"We appreciate that it is incredibly frustrating for residents and drivers that the scheme will continue longer than expected, and we will continue to assess our traffic management as work progresses to minimise disruption wherever possible.”

When the SSE work has finished, a series of further changes to the roundabout will take place.

Carriageways and pavements will be widened in Christchurch Road and on the Avon Causeway. New 'splitter' islands and a roundabout will be constructed. Carriageways will also be resurfaced.

So far, engineers have constructed a temporary scaffolding footbridge, partially completed a new footway at the Pussex Lane junction and started excavations in preparation for further works.

The council funded work is part of the wider £45m Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership's BIG programme.

County councillor Lesley Dedman said: "The problem with overruns is you are never sure how long they are going to be. All we can do as councillors is make representations to the highways department on behalf of residents and businesses, who are going to suffer because of this.

"Christchurch's roads are almost at capacity every time of day and the highways team do not seem to realise the severity of the situation.

"I do not know how Bournemouth will be affected by the overlapping work, but Christchurch definitely will be.

"We have to take into account there are emergency works at times, but these are planned works overrunning.

"The borough is almost at gridlock. All we can do it keep making representations."