A programme of works to inspect and upgrade hundreds of retaining walls, bridges and parapets on the highway network across the Island has been agreed by Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council.
Under the programme, over 250 walls and a number of parapets and bridges will be inspected and from these surveys, a course of action will be decided to ensure each is maintained to the standards required by the highways PFI contract.
The programme, which will last until April 2023, is already underway with the initial focus on 90 structures (57 in Ventnor) which are deemed to be the highest priority. In each of these cases, the walls will be subject to an agreed strategy involving an inspection and then agreement over any required strengthening works needed.
Island Roads service director Steve Ashman said: “This a comprehensive programme of additional work, often involving specialist structural engineers and equipment, which represents a significant investment in the structures to help ensure they continue to support the highway network for years to come.
“Some of the work may well be fairly major in scope and we will be sure to keep the local community informed of traffic management that may be necessary so we can carry out this work in the coming months. As always, we will look to minimise disruption to residents and road users.
Cllr Phil Jordan, IW Council cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “This is welcome investment in our bridges and retaining walls across the Island but they are also essential works that have be undertaken at this time.
“Not only are they an important part of keeping the network safe, in places like Ventnor they also help form and preserve the character of the area which is another good reason why it’s important to have an effective rolling programme of inspection and repair.”
In some locations Island Roads has previously introduced enhancements that offer habitat to solitary bees and the Ventnor’s wall lizards and these features will be considered where appropriate in the forthcoming work.
Residents most affected by the programme will be contacted in advance of work taking place while any necessary traffic arrangements will also be publicised.