Further detailed ground investigations are to be undertaken shortly to confirm the cause of the collapse to the retaining wall at Belgrave Road in Ventnor.
The findings will help engineers design and implement a scheme to repair the wall and re-open the road. It is envisaged -that repair work could begin in early summer 2021 and be completed by the end of October.
Visual site inspections continue to take place at both Belgrave Road and Esplanade Road twice weekly to monitor any wall movement and cracking at the top of the terrace and the middle and lower sections. Additional inspections are also held after periods of bad weather. These inspections have shown no further significant movement, cracking or deterioration in recent weeks.
“Until now, more detailed investigations have been hampered by the Covid-19 restrictions and while there has been no significant movement, remedial works remain a priority,” said Island Roads Service Director Steve Ashman.
“we are now in a position to step up the investigations and the forthcoming survey work will help us to plan a way forward with the Isle of Wight Council.”
As a prelude to the investigation, a survey of six homes on Belgrave Road is to be undertaken so their condition during both investigation and construction works at what remains a sensitive site can be monitored.
An indicative timetable has been communicated to residents and local stakeholders as part of the commitment of Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council to keep the local community informed of developments.
Isle of Wight Council Portfolio Holder Cllr Ian Ward said: “It is important that the next steps are decided based on sound evidence and the forthcoming survey work should give us the information needed to design and implement the best possible solution.”
“While, for reasons stated, it has not been possible to undertake these investigations before now, we hope residents and the Ventnor community are assured that we are now working to a schedule, albeit at this stage, an indicative one.”
“It goes without saying that we will do all we can to complete the work in as short a timeframe as possible, though we must also ensure that at all times we maintain the safety of residents, local people and our workforce.”
“We would like to thank residents for their ongoing co-operation and understanding and we will ensure both they and the wider local community are kept up to date with the latest developments.”
It was at the end of January this year that part of the retaining wall at Belgrave Road failed. Subsequently the site has been enclosed with wire netting to protect residents from any potential dislodged debris. Sandbags are also in place to reduce the risk of surface water entering the failed area.