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Unexpected ground conditions delay Kex Gill repairs

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The A59 Kex Gill repair work will take longer than expected due to ground conditions, North Yorkshire County Council has said.

North Yorkshire County council has said that repairs to the A59 Kex Gill will take longer than expected due to ground conditions being more difficult than the original investigations indicated.

The repairs involve drilling into the rock below the road to enable the retaining wall to be fixed in place, but the discovery of voids in the area behind the wall has caused delays.

Work on the repairs started to the key trans-Pennine route between Harrogate and Skipton started in October.

The remediation scheme was developed following ground movement at the site in late May, which led to the route being closed until early July when temporary repairs were completed.

Last month the council said it hoped for the road to be reopened in time for Christmas.

North Yorkshire County Council executive member for highways Don Mackenzie said: “We assured local businesses there would be no planned closure of the road during the period leading up to and over Christmas and New Year and we have stuck to that.

“We had hoped to lift the traffic lights fully before Christmas, but we have to put the safety of the travelling public first, which means doing all that is necessary to ensure our repairs are fit for purpose.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Council officers will be on site each day over the Christmas period to monitor the area.”

The repairs will now be completed in the new year and will be followed later in 2019 by a week-long closure, postponed from before Christmas, for resurfacing and drainage work.

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.

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 has been agreed and a business case for funding is being prepared 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.

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