The County Council and its contractors are finalising the proposals for the permanent repairs required to minimise risks of further slippage on the A59 at Kex Gill until a planned diversion is built.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “We are very anxious to minimise any closure of the road while the permanent repairs are carried out, because we understand the impact that has on local people, particularly businesses. Therefore, we are taking a little extra time to finalise the proposed option, which will require further investigation and discussion.”
This means a public meeting planned for 18 September has been rescheduled to Tuesday, 25 September, at 7pm at the Millstones.
The road closed at Kex Gill in late spring after movement in the carriageway. Following a first phase of repairs, it reopened to single-file traffic under traffic light control in early July. The review may delay the start of permanent repairs, but this is still expected to be in early October.
The A59 is an important trans-Pennine route between Skipton and Harrogate, but there is a history of instability in land around the road west of Blubberhouses at Kex Gill. Since the road’s reopening in July, the slope has been monitored and has remained stable.
The meeting on 25 September will be an opportunity to inform local people of the work necessary to complete a permanent repair and to fully reopen the road and for people to give their views on such things as arrangements during any periods of closure.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “We want to complete permanent repairs as soon as possible, but we also want to be certain that we have the most effective repair with the minimum disruption to traffic.”
County Councillor Stanley Lumley, Member for Pateley Bridge division and a member of the Kex Gill steering group, added: “The A59 at Kex Gill presents a complex problem. We must be certain that the permanent repair programme is the best possible, while minimising closures, because I know how difficult these are for the local community.”
The County Council’s ultimate solution is to realign this section of the A59 to the other side of the valley. A preferred route for this realignment was agreed by the County Council in July. A full business case for funding is now being produced for submission to the Department for Transport. It is anticipated construction could start in the financial year 2019/20 and the road could take 14 months to complete.