The most intensive programme of highway resurfacing ever undertaken on the Island has been announced by Island Roads.
Over 60 kilometres of highways across the Island, including some of the busiest roads, are included in the schedule that will last between March and October,
The work will be undertaken in accordance with the requirement of the PFI contract that all types of road – both quiet and busy – should be brought up to standard at an equal rate across the Island.
The programme has been developed to ensure the stretches of road in worst conditionacross the entire Island are given high priority.
To minimise disruption in what will be a busy period of work, resurfacing of many of the main roads in the programme will be done overnight.
The 2015 programme (which is subject to amendment) will follow on from the existing resurfacing already carried out since the PFI began in April 2013. During this time, the equivalent of a seven-metre carriageway that would stretch over one and a quarter times around the Island has been resurfaced.
In the coming five years, the large majority of the Island’s road network will be improved and then maintained at this high standard for the remaining 18 years of the PFI contract.
Paul Herbert, Island Roads service director said: “This year will be the first full year of resurfacing we have undertaken with the benefit of the new asphalt plant and residents will see a very intense period of work which will result in a significant improvement to the network.
“It is clear that residents are very keen to see the Island’s road network improved and this programme will upgrade a great many stretches across the Island. Many of these stretches will be those that are in particularly poor condition so not only will this work offer an immediate benefit, it will also bring long-term dividends too as the newly resurfaced roads will be far less prone to future potholing.
“For various reasons, including the need to minimise disruption during the important tourism season, it was agreed in the contract to bring the network up to the required standard over seven years, but this forthcoming programme of work should leave residents in no doubt that great strides are being made and these continue to be made in the coming years.
“The Island was awarded £260 million of Government grant under the Highways PFI because its roads were among the very worst in the country. By the end of the PFI, they will be among the very best.”
Roadsections to be included in the March to October programme will be Long Lane, Newport, Newport Road, Godshill, Sandown Road, Lake, New Road Porchfield, Arreton Street, Arreton, Sandown High Street, Hale Common, Main Road, Havenstreet, Station Road, Wootton, Luccombe Road, Shanklin, Newport Road, Niton, Cowleaze Hill, Shanklin, Gunville Road, Carisbrooke, Forest Road, Newport, Newport Road, Freshwater and Colwell Road, Freshwater.
In addition there will be drainage scheme undertaken in Egypt Esplanade, Cowes, Newport Road, Niton, Sandown Road, Lake, and Blackwater Shute and Blackwater Hollow, which will take place ahead of the resurfacing work.
Mr Herbert said that while every effort would be made to reduce disruption, there would inevitably be some inconvenience.
He said: “I would like to thank residents for their patience during this time and would hope residents feel that any short-term inconvenience will be outweighed by the significant improvements this major programme of work will bring to the network.”
Details of the next tranche of work which take us into 2016 will be made available towards the end of the year.