Island Roads has announced there will be more roadworks across the Isle of Wight this Summer.
The contractor is undertaking its most comprehensive programme of work to upgrade road bridges and retaining walls. Most of the work to strengthen and repair the bridges and retaining walls will take place in Ventnor. Between April and the end of August, around 60 structures on the Island will be improved by Island Roads as part of the Highways PFI. The projects include replacing the expansion joints on Medina Bridge on the dual carriageway and work on the many lesser-known bridges dotted across the Island. In the majority of cases the works will be undertaken without a need for a road closure, although it will be necessary in some cases to control traffic with temporary traffic signals. Ian Hodson, Island Roads Structures Manager:
“Often people will drive past these structures without even noticing them. Nevertheless they need to meet the required standards.” “Our assessments have looked not just at identifying which structures need strengthening, we have also looked, where appropriate, to introduce solutions that will improve the appearance of the bridge or make it more effective in carrying out the purpose for which it was designed,” Ian said. “It will be a very busy summer of work for us and the programme represents a great deal of investment in maintaining and improving the structures that form such an important – but often unnoticed – part of the Island’s highways network.”
Under the PFI, Island Roads has a duty to upgrade and/or maintain over 850 structures – on the Island that means retaining walls, road bridges and pedestrians footbridges. The structures due for improving this summer include those in most need of attention. In many cases, the work is of relatively minor nature but is necessary to ensure these structures are maintained to the required standards. Though some notable structures work has already been undertaken – Wootton Bridge and Coppins Bridge are two such examples – work is now ramping-up following a period of intensive inspections and assessments. This work has enabled the current summer programme to be devised although it is subject to change if and when other more urgent issues arise. Although there are exceptions (Wootton Bridge was, for example undertaken in the winter given the urgency of the scheme and its impact on traffic) most structures projects are undertaken in the summer months, which provide better working conditions and many of the works are weather-dependent. Three bridges in Carisbrooke (Clatterford Shute Footbridge, Castle Street Footbridge and Spring Walk Footbridge) will be undertaken. In each location the materials used will be more in keeping with the rural surroundings. Where these three structures cross waterways, the headroom under the bridge will be increased to help prevent the build-up of floating debris that can lead to flooding. The list of structures (which is subject to change) currently scheduled for improvement can be viewed at http://www.islandroads.com/