Bridport: Roads misery as sub-standard South Street surface is replaced (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Bridport: Roads misery as sub-standard South Street surface is replaced
FRUSTRATED Bridport traders and residents are this week facing more roadworks misery as one of the town’s main roads was due to be resurfaced yet again.
Following weeks of major disruption and one-way traffic flow, while a new gas main was laid, the diggers were due back in South Street after the road surface – only put in a matter of weeks ago – was judged to be sub-standard.
But the disruption has a silver lining for townspeople as the unwanted asphalt being dug up from the patched and uneven road surface is being given to the town council to recycle for pathways and a new cycle path.
Letters from Southern Gas Networks went out at the end of last week to addresses directly affected by the roadworks, saying that ‘unfortunately’ ongoing site monitoring had revealed failures in the carriageway resurfacing scheme which was carried out during phase one of the £400,000 scheme and that the work would have to be done again.
During the works, set to last a week, parking is banned on the northbound carriageway from Doctor Roberts Close to Gundry Lane while half the entire road width is replaced.
The gasworks caused major traffic delays and noise with one-way traffic controls and was originally intended to continue up to the Town Hall and into East and West streets across the summer until the town council helped broker a deal for a break in the works timetable across the holiday season.
South Street resident John Moseley, whose wife has an antiques business in South Street, says he has serious concerns about the standard of the works as a whole and has asked Southern Gas networks for an explanation.
“When I got the letter, I just thought: ‘Oh no, not again’. It doesn’t instil any confidence in the way the work has been done up to now or for the future stages of the work. At this rate it could just go on and on.”
Mike Harvey, president of Bridport Business chamber of trade and commerce took a resigned view of the news.
“At least the week after Easter is not a fantastically busy time and as long as it only takes a week I suppose we will have to put up with it. The work on the gas main has to be done, and it was never going to be easy,” he pointed out.
“We are grateful the town council helped engineer the break in the works until September and we are not faced with the repairs all summer.”
Colin Horne, Southern Gas Networks’ construction manager apologised for the disruption.
“These works are necessary and, following our discussions with Dorset County Council, we have been asked to complete them before the summer holiday season so that additional disturbance can be avoided.
“We are committed to causing the least disruption during all of our work and we would like to apologise for any delays caused during the unplanned reinstatement scheme. We hope that the end result of a new road surface will compensate for the latest disruption.”
A Dorset County Council spokeswoman confirmed that the highways authority had asked for the resurfacing work to half the carriageway where there had been a large amount of trench digging, in order to make good the surface.
ASPHALT TO BE REUSED FREE OF CHARGE
EVERY cloud of dust from the South Street roadworks has a silver lining for the people of Bridport as tonnes of asphalt chippings are being donated to the town council.
The planings, from the asphalt being scraped off and broken up to a 40mm depth, will be reused for repairs and on paths and footways.
Delighted town surveyor Daryl Chambers said the council would normally have to pay for planings and the roadworks should create a sizeable pile.
He plans to use them for the notoriously muddy entrances in Asker Meadows before this summer’s Food Festival and help the new cycle path.
“It is a goodwill gesture from Southern Gas Networks, which is fantastic and will save the town a lot of money. It is a good news aspect to the roadworks,” he said.