Revised proposals have been drawn up for the refurbishment of Lezayre Road in Ramsey that will streamline the project and reduce the level of disruption to the public.
The Department of Infrastructure and Manx Utilities have reviewed the full scope of works and a new design has been produced, with a view to construction starting in June 2018.
The Department provided an update on the scheme to the area’s political representatives, businesses, bus vannin and the Department of Education and Children during a recent meeting.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said: ‘The original proposal included the installation of a large diameter water main as part of a full reconstruction of the entire length of Lezayre Road. Alternative routing options have now been proposed by Manx Utilities for its works. This has enabled the Department to look again at the overall scheme.’
He added: ‘After further discussion with Treasury, Ramsey Commissioners and the area’s MHKs, the Department has agreed a way forward that will deliver a significant investment in the town’s infrastructure while minimising the impact on the public. We have listened to residents, business owners and the schools and their views are reflected in the revised plans.’
The new £475,000 scheme will not achieve all of the Department’s original objectives in terms of carriageway and drainage improvements, but offers an acceptable compromise for local stakeholders.
The revised proposals involve a plane and overlay of a 1.1 kilometre section of Lezayre Road, with the full reconstruction of Bircham Avenue junction and other localised areas where needed. The work will extend the life of the road, enhance safety and ride quality, modernise the utilities infrastructure and where possible introduce a cycle lane in line with the Department’s Active Travel strategy.
A road closure order will be in place while the junction is being reconstructed, but efforts will be made to minimise the duration without impacting on the safety or timely progress of the work.
While the construction programme has not yet been finalised, the intention is to complete the scheme in two short phases, working around the 2018 TT and Festival of Motorcycling. This will considerably shorten the timescale compared with the original project, which was scheduled to take many months and be completed over two winters.
A detailed traffic management plan has been developed and diversion routes will be in operation from Sulby and Jurby Road for all vehicles heading to and from the west of the Island during the closure of Lezayre Road.
David Anderson MLC, Department Member with responsibility for Highway Services, said: ‘It is essential that work takes place at Lezayre Road in order to provide a highway and services that are fit for the future. Maintaining access to the town centre, the schools, businesses and homes, as well as making the best use of the working windows around the TT and the Festival of Motorcycling, have been crucial factors in our planning. We have taken on board public feedback and every effort will be made to deliver a quality scheme in the shortest possible timeframe.’