Highways officers and councillors will meet business people and residents from the Kex Gill area this month to inform them of the plans for permanent repairs to the A59 designed to minimise risks of further slippage until a planned diversion is built.
The meeting will provide a further opportunity for people to give their views on such things as arrangements during periods of closure and signage making clear that businesses remain open.
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. Permanent repairs are now expected to start at the beginning of 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.
Details of the work necessary to complete a permanent repair and to fully reopen the road will be announced at a public meeting at the Millstones at 7pm on Tuesday, 18 September.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “Since July, the single-file traffic system has worked well, but we want to complete permanent repairs as soon as possible. We have been working with our contractors to finalise the most effective repair while minimising disruption to traffic and are now in a position to share details with local businesses and residents, the people most affected by this situation. We expect work to restart on site at the beginning of October. The scale of the work means it will, at times, require a full road closure, but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum.”
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 and a great deal of hard work has gone into devising a permanent repair. We know how difficult closure periods are for the local community, so minimising these is a priority. Equally, I know how important it is that the road be open for the benefit of all users, so I’m glad that these permanent repairs are now in sight.”
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.