Emergency works to provide a permanent repair caused by the A431 Kelston Road landslide will begin in July and be “fast tracked” to get the road open by Christmas, Bath & North East Somerset Council confirmed last night.
And the authority revealed that it would also be looking to apply for Government funding to offset the cost of repairing the damage as it was a direct result of the heavy rainfall and flooding that caused so many problems across the country over the winter.
That still leaves up to seven months of diverted journeys for thousands of motorists, and lost income for local businesses who have already been struggling since the road was closed back in February.
The council statement does not say whether a talked-about temporary road across Kelston Park will be going ahead. The authority is known to have been in discussion with the landowner in recent months.
The statement says that “exhaustive tests and geological sampling” have taken place since the road was closed for safety reasons.
“Following detailed analysis of geological samples taken from the scene, the council has come up with a permanent solution that will stabilise the land and open the road. The land has only just stopped moving which was a pre-requisite before work could begin to start stabilising the land and repairing the road.
“We are working closely with our contractor to programme the specialist plant and equipment required with a view to commencing on site as soon as possible.
“Works are anticipated to be completed – and the road fully opened again – before Christmas 2014. This work is being fast tracked as the council understands the impact of the landslip on local residents, businesses and commuters.
“Our priority has always been to achieve a permanent solution which means we need not suffer such problems in the future.
“The council will also be looking to apply for Government funding to offset the cost as this was a direct result of the heavy rainfall and flooding that caused so many problems across the country.”
Further details of the plans will be given next week.
Last month the council opened a path for cyclists and pedestrians in a field next to the landslip and last week farmer John Dinham unveiled plans to build a 400-yard temporary toll road made from aluminium plates across his land to open up access.
Meanwhile a petition started by businesses, residents and motorists affected by the closure calling on the Government to support to local businesses and get Kelston Road reopened has reached the 500 signature mark.