Photo showing a man in protective uniform (PPE) inspecting a wall with the town of Ventnor and seaside in the background

A programme of works to inspect and upgrade hundreds of retaining walls, bridges and parapets on the highway network is currently underway across the Island.

Under the programme, agreed with the Isle of Wight Council, over 250 walls and a number of parapets and bridges will be inspected and any strengthening works required will be undertaken to ensure they meet the necessary standards.  Some of these structures are on private land next to the highway and property owners will be contacted in advance of the works to ensure they are aware of and consent to the assessments and any work required.

The comprehensive programme, which will last until April 2023, is initially focused on 90 structures (57 of which are in Ventnor) which are deemed to be of the highest priority.  The work will involve specialist structural engineers and equipment and some works are likely to be fairly major in scope and may require temporary road closures or traffic lights so that we can complete our work safely.

Examples of some of the more extensive recent works are at Leeson Road, Esplanade, Bath Road, Ocean View Road, Bellevue Road, West Street, and St Albans Steps, all in Shanklin; Westhill Road, Osborne Steps and Delphi Road, all in Shanklin and St Helens Causeway, Shore Road at Gurnard and at Undercliff Drive.

While we are scheduled to complete our programme of investigation works by the middle of August, there may be a few instances where additional investigations are required. The works remaining to be completed in the next few weeks include the following sites:

Ventnor – East Street, Shore Hill, St Catherines Street, Bonchurch Shute

Shanklin – Hope Hill, Shanklin Chine

Other – The Mall (Brading), St Catherines Road, (Niton)

The scope of investigation works includes boreholes, trial pits and wall cores to determine details about the retaining walls and the material that they are retaining to inform  assessments based on the best information.

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 and the local community will be kept informed of any traffic management that may be necessary. We will look to minimise disruption to residents and road users wherever possible as we carry out this essential work.

The work represents a significant investment in the Island’s highway structures to help ensure they continue to support the highway network for years to come.

You can read more about this programme in our press release

You can also read our Questions and Answers document.