Only one week of closure will be necessary during permanent repairs to the A59 at Kex Gill, it has been revealed.
The county council and its contractors told a public meeting in Harrogate that the work would take eight weeks, but one lane will remain open under traffic light control with just one week of complete closure at the end to allow resurfacing.
The road had to be closed at Kex Gill in late spring after movement was found in the carriageway. After a first phase of repairs, it reopened to single-file traffic under traffic lights in early July. 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.
The meeting was told that the permanent repair work will begin on Monday 8 October. It will involve installing ground anchors through to the hillside, constructing a reinforced concrete wall, constructing a filter drain and carriageway resurfacing. The schedule will be subject to weather and ground conditions. It is hoped both lanes will be open to traffic by December.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “We were determined to minimise any road closure while the permanent repairs were carried out. We know how much impact this has on local residents and businesses. Therefore, we are delighted that a road closure is only expected to be necessary at the end of the project for drainage, resurfacing and relining work.”
Councillor Stanley Lumley, member for the Pateley Bridge division and a member of the Kex Gill steering group, said: “We are happy that the road will only need to close for one week as this minimises the disruption to the local community. The permanent repairs provide the best solution until a diversion can be finalised.”
The 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 council in July and a full business case for funding is being submitted to the Department for Transport. It is hoped construction could start in the spring 2020 and the road could take 14 months to complete.