Work is on schedule to enable North Yorkshire County Council to reopen the A59 at Kex Gill to vehicles under traffic light control late on Sunday, 8 July, providing load testing of the road over the weekend shows the road is safe for public use.
The road closed at the end of May after movement in the carriageway. Extensive ground investigations were necessary to ascertain the cause of the problem and to devise the remedy.
Work this week to stabilise the wall below the road has gone to schedule, with County Council staff and the authority’s contractor pulling out all the stops to complete the repairs and testing as quickly as possible.
The work involved a shotcreting process. This entailed drilling steel rods into the wall to attach a reinforced mesh then spraying concrete on the face to bind everything together, including filling voids between the walling stone. The carriageway has been widened towards the rock wall to create sufficient width to reopen the road to single lane traffic.
Load testing to make sure the road has stabilised began today (Friday, 6 July) and will continue into the weekend. Once the load testing has confirmed the road is safe for public use, contractors will remove their equipment from the site and the road is expected to open under traffic light control late on Sunday.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “I’m pleased that we are able to reopen the road, albeit under traffic lights, for the benefit of local residents, businesses and other users of the A59. We understand that this has been a difficult period for members of local communities, particularly businesses. The repair has required a complex operation in difficult conditions, but council officers and our contractors have worked continuously throughout daylight hours to put this solution in place for the benefit of all who use the road.”
The County Council continues to work on a permanent solution to reopen the road fully. It will do all it can to keep the road open and to minimise any further closures. However, given the scale of the problem more permanent works may require a further road closure. As soon as details are finalised, the Council will engage locally on when to carry out the repairs, what the implications are and how best to mitigate them.
The County Council’s ultimate solution is to realign this section of the A59 to the other side of the valley. The public can view the preferred proposed route for the realignment here and can email comments to LTP@northyorks.gov.uk. Anyone unable to access the internet can call 01609 780780 or write to Transport Planning Team, Business and Environmental Services, North Yorkshire County Council, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AD. The deadline for comments is 12 July, 2018.