Essential and long-awaited resurfacing and drainage improvement works will take place in the Masham and Middleham areas of North Yorkshire from the end of this week.
These make up a major programme of works which the County Council needs to undertake this financial year, when weather permits and in order to benefit from just over £13m for the county allocated by the Government last autumn.
“This welcome investment is to help us improve and maintain our roads network for the benefit of all users” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways.
“Fortunately we are able to carry out this necessary work before Easter when the area’s tourist season starts in earnest.
“We apologise for the inevitable short-term disruption to residents and the travelling public caused by some lengthy diversions due to the rural nature of the area, but this will provide a significant improvement to the highway and will keep the roads in good condition in the years to come”.
Historic Masham Bridge which carries the A6108 over the River Ure, is to go undergo major resurfacing next week (from March 18th) to make the bridge surface fit for purpose for the next quarter of a century.
The work will begin next Monday on the 18th century grade II listed structure and the bridge will be closed to all traffic for five days, although pedestrian access will be maintained.
North Yorkshire’s bridges team took the decision to repair the bridge surfacing fully as works originally planned would not have been enough to correct the progressive damage.
“For some time we have been asked by businesses, whose freight wagons use the bridge, when we were going to carry out repairs as they didn’t feel the bridge surface was adequate to cope with the volume of traffic and heavy goods vehicles” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways.
“This extensive, complex work requires a full closure, especially as a gas main runs through the base/binder layer of the surfacing so we will need to take great care when excavating.”
The works will require a signed diversion via Ripon suitable for HGVs due to the rural nature of the area. Although the works are programmed for five days, the council hopes contractors may be able to complete the work in a shorter time.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience caused by these works for the travelling public” added Cllr Mackenzie, “but our contractors will pull out all the stops to complete the works as quickly as possible and keep disruption to a minimum.”
At the same time the county council is carrying out other resurfacing works in Masham itself –Silver Street, Church Street, Park Street and Thorpe Road - to avoid further road closures. Vehicular access to properties directly affected will be limited, but contractors will be on hand to help local people manage access.
Cllr Margaret Atkinson, local member for Masham and Fountains said: “We welcome this funding for our roads and the fact we can undertake this substantial work on the bridge which our businesses have wanted. We know the works will cause inconvenience, but these short-term closures will bring long-term benefits.”
An extensive resurfacing programme is to start between Middleham and the Forbidden Corner tourist attraction from the end of this week.
North Yorkshire highways contractors will be working along Coverham Lane from Pinkers Pond just outside Middleham up Cotescue Bank through to Forbidden Corner at Tupgill Park.
These resurfacing and drainage works will involve road closures for seven days starting Thursday March 14th.
A signed diversion route will be in place during the closures and pedestrian access will be available at all times. Vehicle access to properties within the closure will be available with the agreement of the contractor.
Traffic ambassadors will be on hand at each closure point to assist with access or to advise vehicle users on diversion routes.
The road will be closed from Pinkers Pond to the Coverham Church junction from 8am Thursday through to 8am Saturday to adjust manhole covers and to allow time for mortar to set. Vehicle assess to properties will be possible at all times.
From Monday 18th March to Friday 22nd March a daytime road closure (8am to 5pm) will be in place to enable patching and resurfacing along the whole route from Middleham to Tupgill Park.
Cllr Karin Sedgwick, local member for the Middle Dales said: “I welcome the County Council’s investment in roads in my Division and I know that my local residents will be pleased with the benefits when these improvements are completed”.
Further information including diversion information and alerts can be found on http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/30550/Public-notices