A19 road closure from Chapel Haddlesey Bridge to the junction with Wand Lane.

A19 open

The A19 at Chapel Haddlesey reopened on Monday 21 June.

This section of the A19 is built on a causeway, a road on top of a man made embankment through which run small bridges or culverts to allow water to pass back and forth. 

The A19 has regular condition and safety inspections, which found the road to be structurally sound and in good condition prior to collapse. However, following significant rainfall resulting in high water levels over a long period, accompanied by high winds that led to almost tidal type erosion, the road suffered catastrophic damage and it was necessary to close it for safety.

Diversion route

The A19 is a principal road and as with any road closure the signed diversion must follow a road of the same category or higher on the highway network hierarchy. The A19 is classed as Cat 3, as are the two signed diversion routes, whilst the third diversion for HGV’s also uses the M62 a trunk road which is a higher category.

There are other local routes available; but these are not advertised or signed because they have not been constructed to carry the same weight or volume of traffic.

Additional signage to deter motorists from using roads through the villages has been put. It is usually those with local knowledge that choose to use these roads as a short cut to avoid the signed diversion.

North Yorkshire Police are monitoring certain locations for speeding vehicles and there has been an increase in their presence on the roads between West Haddlesey and Birkin following concerns received by residents. If you have concerns about speeding on the diversion route report this to North Yorkshire Police.

Planning and design 

We understand this road closure is inconvenient to the many communities who are adversely affected and that the delay in reconstruction starting is frustrating. Normally the planning, design, procurement and mobilisation for a project of this size is carried out over a year prior to commencement whilst the road is still open to traffic. Unfortunately, in this case the road had to be closed as it was dangerous but the same work needed to be carried out. We have been doing our utmost to get this road repaired so it can be opened to the public as soon as possible.

The most significant issue was that the scale of the damage was unknown. The damage on the surface was visible and quantifiable, however it was clear that there was substantial damage at a significant depth below the surface of the road so we could not be certain of the entire area of that damage. 

Covid-19 delayed the progress further, with national lockdown meaning companies were unable to provide crucial services.

Key dates

The timescale of the work carried out is below:

  • 18 February 2020 the A19 was closed between Chapel Haddlesey and Eggborough, due to collapse following erosion resulting from Storm Dennis.
  • 10th March 2020 water levels dropped enough to allow a full visual inspection, this established significant erosion of the embankment and triggered various excavations in the road to try to establish internal damage. This concluded the scale and nature was both large and complex. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveyors were instructed but Covid-19 brought progress to a halt.
  • Mid May 2020 designers were considering solutions, ruling out options up to this point and we were negotiating with contractors, looking at procurement options to speed up getting a contractor on site, but the design team did not received results of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) until the 13 May. The results confirmed there were significant voids particularly around the five bridges and culverts. The Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), like X-rays, cannot tell everything and does not guarantee that all voids are found and that continues to be a risk.
  • End of May 2020 we short cut the contractor procurement process using a national framework and Balfour Beatty were appointed. Balfour Beatty worked closely with the designers using the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) information, excavation information and the visual inspections of the embankment to conclude what the most logical and deliverable solutions were.
  • June 2020 survey and design work identified major BT and Gas services near the road and embankment. Discussions with those companies concluded major diversions were required to allow the works to progress. Gas leaks were found that were repaired in June.
  • July 2020 Northern Gas Networks commenced diversion work of the major gas service.
  • August 2020 design work for the 5 bridge repairs was completed and approved, permits were approved for the proposed repairs with the Internal Drainage Board and the Environment Agency. BT carried out their service work.
  • September 2020 Gas diversion work was completed at the end of September ready for Balfour Beatty to commence the main repair work.
  • October 2020 Week commencing 5 October planning of the road surface commenced.


In May 2020 our consultants initial assessment was that the construction period, given what was known at that time, was between 6 to 8 months. When appointed at the end of May the contractor Balfour Beatty programmed a start date of the 3rd August and a completion date of 21 May 2021, this would be 9 months construction taking in the Christmas period.

Because the gas service diversion was necessary the start date has been delayed by two months which would have logically put the contractors programme back to the 21 July. The contractor has reviewed the programme and although an initial completion date of the 8 July was tabled, the contractor by further reviewing the programme confirmed a completion date of 25 June 2021. The programme and end date try to take into account the risk of a number of unknowns, hence we remain optimistic that the actual completion date and the date that the road will open to traffic will be earlier.

The reconstruction design addresses the risk of future flood damage to the road as the new embankment will be protected by a ‘rock wall’ against flood erosion. In the unfortunate situation, we experience a further flood event during the construction period; the working method the contractor has adopted will mean the newly constructed sections will be self-protecting. This will ensure we will have minimal abortive work. It is of course inevitable that if we have a major flood during the work the period of construction is likely to be delayed.

We are sorry for the inconvenience and disruption the closure of the A19 is causing but both ourselves and our contractors are fully committed to getting the road reopened as soon as possible.

Progress updates

  • Marker posts complete throughout the works.
  • BT chambers installed and cables pulled through ready for the final connection.
  • 6B fill at a stage where the final trim is happening to the tops of the embankments.
  • Areas of the site have been Hydro seeded ahead of the final surfacing to minimise risk of overspray on to the carriageway.
  • External hoardings dropped ready for the final de-mob.
  • West ditch feeding the Ings drain invert to be re-cut and profiled to maintain flows on completion of the final rock trim.
  • Fencing around structures and Cunnington’s land has been completed immediately after the scaffolds were removed enabling the verge works to be brought in close to the parapet walls.
  • The final tonnages of 6B1 has been brought to site to complete the east and west embankments.
  • Drainage works to the toe of the west embankment has been completed.
  • BT permanent ducting has been successfully laid in the east verge ready for the final cable install.
  • Masonary for structures 1016 and 1017 has been delivered and laid.
  • Scaffolds to structures 1017, 1018 and 1019 has been stripped to allow completion of 6B1 to structures.
  • Verge (topsoil ) complete from ch. -75 to ch.830.
  • Market post bases installation is closely following completion of verges and bases for traffic signs at north end have been cast.
  • Kerbing to north compound has been completed.

Fence at the side of the A19

BT tower

Digger on culvet

The A19 with stones at the side

Fence posts on the A19

Digger working on the pavement

A new wall on the A19

  • A big push has taken place importing and laying the 6B rock armour to the Eastern embankments.
  • Drainage works continue along the toe of the embankment on the western side in challenging conditions.
  • Vehicle Restraint Barrier driven posts have been completed.
  • BT permanent ducting has been successfully laid in the east verge ready for the final cable install
  • A site wide ‘clean-up’ is being undertaken on a daily basis, tying in fill materials as close as possible to the structures, topping-up 6B fill material to create the final verge detail and grading topsoil to the verges in advance of the seeding operations.
  • 1400 Tonne of Base course laid giving access over to Jakto to concentrate on 6B embankment fill to the East side.
  • Verges have been completed throughout the works to Chainage 660 and will continue following the 6B embankment filling works.
  • Vehicle Restraint Barrier has been installed to the North West of the project with the East side to start next week.
  • Drainage works commence on the South west of the site starting at The Ings Drain with the outfall headwall.
  • Stone mason works continue where possible during the surfacing works, concentrating on the off-line works such as façade pointing and arch barrel repairs.
  • Jakto – Verge detail finishing with 6B1 material addition to top of batters.
  • Jakto – Final type 3 trim to east and west verges.
  • Stone Central – reconstruction of parapets to Structure 1016.
  • Scaffolds – ladder beams commenced under the structures.
  • MSF – ducting now completed up to Chainage 640m.
  • Placement of 6B1 to the tops of the east batter to tie in with the Macmat along the east batter side.
  • Final trim of type 3 material to the east and west verges continue between CH 340m to CH 660m.
  • Rollout of geotextile separator layer and install of type 3 material to the southern section.
  • Installation of salvaged stonework to Structure 1016 on both east and west abutments.
  • Jakto – Verge detail including Macmat soil reinforcement completed to Ch620 – great progress despite heavy rain and hailstorms throughout the week.
  • Jakto – Type 3 installation completed, and final trim passed off ready for surfacing visit next week.
  • Jakto – 6B fill top up to verges to continue throughout the site towards Ch660 and the interface between next surfacing area.
  • Stone Central – reconstruction of parapets to Structure 1015 completed with the first 2 courses.
  • Stone Central – first three course laid to Structure 1016.
  • Stone Central – start re-build of Structure 1018.

Working on the A19 embankment

Cables at the side of the A19

Drain works

Stone and cover on the A19

A19 stone surface

A19 with roadworks fence

A19 road surfaced

  • 6C starter layer for the final stretch of road ongoing with the Type 3 granular fill to follow. Next surfacing visit to start 17th May.
  • Stone central have made a good start with the structures, stripping 3 existing sets of parapet wall by Wednesday to ensure we capitalise on the good weather by starting the rebuilding ahead of programme.
  • Scaffolds completed this week for continuity of stonework strip out/rebuild.
  • MSF are back on site continuing with the installation of the BT ducting and chambers to the East verge, completing this next central section to ch. 620.
  • As the BT duct is placed, Jakto are following up reinstating the verge and completing the Macmat reinforcing layer heading south throughout the works.
  • A very productive weekend of Road Planing enabled the base course to be laid this week – 1750 tonne of existing bound carriageway materisl removed from site; 1400 tonne of Base course laid in the following days.
  • Excavation of the southern section of road box started - advanced testing of formation allowing us to minimise excavation depth to increase outputs but unfortunately, after a good spell of firm ground, the soft silty clay layer reappeared. Reactive planning increased haulage almost immediately ensuring no real time loss of production.
  • Drainage works commenced in the southern section on the West side however due to the interface with the now increased depth of excavation to the adjacent road-box, it was agreed to divert labour and plant to verge works on the North section to minimise people/plant interface whilst ensuring resources were being used effectively.
  • Verge works continue with design of two types of geotextile with a subsoil fill.
  • An early finish to the surfacing visit has enabled us to start Type 3 granular fill to the verges ahead of the next visit from MSF to install the BT duct in the East side.
  • Drainage works commenced in the southern section on the West side however due to the interface with the now increased depth of excavation to the adjacent road-box, it was agreed to divert labour and plant to verge
  • After completing the excavation of the Road Box, efforts turned to importing large quantities of 6C starter layer and Type 3 reduced fines sub-base to ensure readiness for the subsequent paving operation.
  • 6B1 rock armour works to the East of the site completed allowing us to commence construction of the Field Access.
  • Verge works are ongoing working from the Northern end southwards using the existing structures as targets.

Blocks on the A19 rebuild

Grey boxes on the A19 rebuild

Rock on the new road

digger with rocks on the A19


  • Jakto continuing with bulk earthworks while Robinsons Planers successfully removed 2190 Tonnes of existing road construction.
  • Excavation of the embankments has progressed to Chainage 750 on the west side, placing the 6B Rock armour up to Chainage 730.
  • Further works to ‘piece-in’ areas of embankment close to the structures completed.
  • Verge works have continued with the topping up of the Type 3 material to enable the installation of the new BT Ducting and associated chambers for 300 linear metres.
  • After the road-planing operation progress has started on the next section of road-box excavation currently at Chainage 500 with the 6C starter layer following close behind. This will be an ongoing operation up to Chainage 640.
  • Type 3 reduced fines sub-base to be spread, levelled and compacted on completion of the 6C Starter layer.
  • Drainage works to the southern section have been backfilled and chambers completed ready for the final import of soil to the bottom of batter which then opens the embankments for bench cut and fill with 6B rock armour.
  • Road planing operations going well
  • Earthworks contractor continuing to place the 6B1 rock armour
  • We now have up to Chainage 320 trimmed and ready for the road surfacing to start on Monday 8 March for the week.
  • Reinstatement of the verge detail to start in the following week where possible once the bituminious material is laid.
  • Bench excavation have been accelerated on the west side up to Chainage 520 with 2000 Tonne of material removed.
  • 6B1 rock has been installed up to Chainage 450 with 1500 tonne imported to date.
  • Drainage to the south east of the site will be complete this week, with manhole construction following on.

flattening stones

Diggers at the side of the A19 New road surface

New road surface

Road planing

Road planing from the side

  • Bulk muck shift from the topsoil heap on site.
  • Continued pushing road box with an import of 1100 Tonne of Type 3 Sub-base up to Chainage 360.0
  • Import clay fill material to enable start of French Drain on the East side (250 tonne)
  • Start excavation and laying of the French Drain with a length of 80 linear metre installed and backfilled.
  • Commence excavation of benches from Chainage 420 to 520 on the west side with topsoil strip working in advance with another gang to speed production outputs.
  • Structure 1018 has had 6B1 material placed and shaped around the culvert returns.
  • 800 + tonnes of 6B has been imported and stockpiled.
  • Road box excavation continued up to Chainage 360.
  • 450 tonnes of subsoils excavated and removed from site.
  • 600 tonnes of 6C Starter layer spread, levelled and compacted.
  • 200 tonnes of Type 3 sub-base imported which will complete formation up to Chainage 225.
  • 600 tonnes of topsoil stripped on the south east side from chainage 840 to 960 and continues.
  • Excavation works on the road box cut, pushing towards Chainage 320, close to the second structure.
  • 200 Tonne of Type 6C1 and Type 3 sub-base materials are being imported via the north entrance, subsoils exiting to tip via the south to increase productivity of labour and plant on site.
  • Continue excavation of the road box gaining a further 45m in length.
  • Importation of 266 Tonne of 6C starter layer, 178 Tonne of Type 3 subbase material and removal of a further 670 Tonne of spoil off-site.
  • #teamSCAPE

Digger working on the new A19

Adding the soil

Adding the protective layer

Sub-base layer added

Stones and road cover


  • Road box cut up to CH190 by the first structure with 2480 Tonne of 6C starter layer placed and compacted including 500 Tonne of material carted off-site.
  • Type 3 spread, levelled and compacted with 1700 Tonne imported meaning the first 200m is almost ready for final trim and base layer of Tarmac to be programmed in.
  • Topsoil and reinstate at CH170 – 210 to the West of Structure 1019.
  • Road box cut up to CH190 by the first structure with 970 Tonne of 6C starter layer placed and compacted.
  • Commence bulk dig of road box from CH0 heading South.
  • West embankment benches remain cut up to CH 265 including 6B.
  • Structure 1019 West tie-ins 80% complete including 6B.
  • Structure 1019 East tie-ins 80% complete.
  • East Embankment benches cut to CH200, missing the structure and then continue from CH230 to 465.
  • 6B1 stockpile depleted on-site and material used to final trim batter on east side from CH0 to CH100.
  • 6B1 production off site circa 28,000 + tonnes blasted and being processed continually to meet site demand.

A19 work progress

Digger working on the A19

New bridge on the A19

Road covering

  • West Embankment rocks placed up to CH185.
  • East Embankment benches cut.
  • East Embankment rocks placed up to CH460.
  • Root balls moved off site, some remain for future removal (ongoing).
  • Rocks import continued circa 8000 tonnes.
  • Rocks production off site circa 28,000+ tonnes blasted and being processed continually to meet site demand.
  • Topsoil relocated on-site for future use in the works.
  • Additional Silt Control Measures put in to place to prevent polluting adjacent watercourses.
  • Commence earthworks a structure tie-ins.

"Stone added to the embankment"

"Digging the embankemnt"

"Stones on both embankments"

Material imported and stockpiled.

close up photo of rock Stockpile of rock

Cutting benches on west batter.

Digger cutting benches on west batter Cutting benches on west batter

Cutting benches, laying geotextile and placing rock on west batter.

laying geotextile west batter Placing rock on west batter

Adding rocks Rock added

Cutting benches laying geotextile ready for placing rock on east batter.

Cutting benches on east batter Placing rock on east batter

Excavate soft spots and place and compact rock.

Excavate soft spots place and compact rock

Following two months of strategic gas and fiber optic utility diversions road planing tar bound material commenced. The tar bound surfacing will be recycled locally into subbase. #teamSCAPE

Road planing on the A19Road after planing on the A19

General site clearance took place in preparation for work to commence.

Site clearance on the A19