Island Roads is shortly to undertake major schemes to improve the highway on two stretches of the road network in and out of Ventnor.
Island Roads’ mobile visitor centre has already visited Ventnor to explain more about the forthcoming work on Newport Road at a location known as the Graben and also a section of Whitwell Road.
At Newport Road, work to reconstruct and resurface the Graben is planned to begin in the first week in February and last around six weeks. Due to the nature of the work, a full road closure, day and night, is required with a local diversion, east bound via Shanklin and west bound via Whitwell.
The work will re-profile the camber of the road which currently causes vehicles to lean towards the centre of the highway. Under the project, the footpath along the eastern side of the road which has been closed for several years will be improved and re-opened. Sections of Ocean View Road, Gills Cliff Road and Steephill Down Road will also be resurfaced.
The scheme will not permanently resolve the underlying geological issues which affect the highway at this point and further intervention will be required by Island Roads during the life of the PFI contract to keep the section up to the required standard. However, if the land remains stable the forthcoming works should resolve the current issue for some years to come.
In order to reduce the duration of the road closure, work will be undertaken in double shifts which may involve night-time working.
The work on Whitwell Road will take place on a section between Ventnor Rugby Club and Gills Cliff Road. It will include local resurfacing and kerbing as well as cleaning and refurbishment of the highway drainage. Work is programmed to start on completion on the Newport Road works and last around two weeks. In order to reduce disruption this work will be carried out between 6pm and 6am.
During the work, traffic will be diverted via Ventnor Road, High Street (Whitwell), Godshill Road, Whitwell Road, West Street, A3020 School Road, High Street (Godshill), and Shanklin Road, B3327 St Johns Road, High Street (Wroxall), Clarence Road, Newport Road and Gills Cliff Road.
On both Newport Road and Whitwell Road, advance signage will be in place and this will be kept updated to provide dates and timings. Residents and local businesses will be kept informed.
Both schemes are being undertaken at this time of year in order to ensure the sections are improved at the quietest time of year and ahead of the holiday season.
Keith Gourlay, Island Roads construction manager, said: “These are both relatively large schemes on important sections of road serving Ventnor and the wider community. As such we have scheduled the projects to keep any inconvenience to a minimum.
“Visitors to our mobile visitor centre expressed their thanks for the opportunity to talk through and understand the extent of the forthcoming works.
“We are grateful to the residents, businesses, schools and parish councils who have been extremely supportive during our planning stages and we would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience.”