Repairs to the A59 at Kex Gill were well under way this week with the aim of opening the road to single-file traffic as soon as possible.
Following extensive ground investigations, North Yorkshire County Council’s contractor has been on site this week to undertake the complex operation of stabilising the wall below the road. This has involved clearing the site around the section of wall to be treated and erecting a scaffolding platform against the steep bank from which the contractors can work.
The contractor will work throughout the weekend to be ready for the shotcrete process on Monday. This entails drilling steel rods into the wall to attach a reinforcement mesh then spraying concrete on the face to bind everything together, including filling voids between the walling stone. The wall currently consists of loose stones with large voids, so this process will stabilise the wall enough to be able to open one lane of traffic.
The contractors will also widen the carriageway towards the rock wall to create sufficient width to reopen the road. The repairs will then need to be tested before the road can be opened. The aim is to have a single carriageway open to vehicles under traffic light control by the end of the weekend of 7 and 8 July.
County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “Since the road closed we have been working to reopen it as soon as possible, albeit under traffic lights initially. We understand the disruption being faced by local communities, travellers who use the road and particularly by local businesses. It is for the sake of all those people that we want to open the road as early as we can safely do so.”
The road closed on 30 May after movement was detected in the carriageway. The county council has been working to resolve the situation since then. This involved detailed ground investigations to assess the problem and to devise a solution before repairs on site could begin.
Once the road is open to single-file traffic, the county council will do all it can to keep it open and to minimise the need for any further closures. It continues to work on a permanent solution and when details are finalised will engage locally on when to carry out the repairs.
The county council’s ultimate solution is to realign this section of the A59 to the other side of the valley. The public can see the preferred proposed route for this realignment at an event on Saturday 30 June, from 10am to 3pm at Norwood Social Hall, Broad Dubb Road, Norwood, Harrogate HG3 1TE. People will be able to discuss the proposals and comment on them. Information is also online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/kexgill and people 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.