Excavation at Ventnor’s geological fault crucial for pipe repair, says council

Isle of Wight Council says deep trench excavation work is needed to allow Southern Water to repair failing pipes and avoid an emergency closure during the tourist season.

What is the ditch?
As previously explained by News OnTheWight, the graben structure at Newport Road, Ventnor is a geological fault that opens along the crest of the Ventnor landslide. It is checked regularly and work is carried out if necessary.

Since the major Bonchurch landslide in December 2023, local residents' attention to the ditch and the visibly growing depressions and cracks has increased. Residents who have to use Newport Road to enter and exit the city are dealing with congestion and increased traffic.

Effects of closures
In recent years the road and footpath over the ditch have been rehabilitated and several minor repairs have been carried out.

However, the council and Island Roads recognize that closing the road for major works would not only impact residents of Lowtherville (Upper Ventnor), but also those who would then have to use the only other suitable alternative route in and out out of town, Whitwell Road: impact on drivers and residents on the route.

Avoiding an emergency closure
The council says Southern Water currently has equipment in the road but that excavation work will be delayed “until the Environment Agency's coastal protection works are completed or until a point where a further closure in Ventnor can be effectively managed to accommodate the.” to minimize unavoidable disruptions for residents.” “.

Suggested dates for June
They add that some dates proposed by Southern Water for the works in June are currently being reviewed to avoid a possible emergency closure during the summer holiday period with very short notice to residents and visitors.

It should be remembered that due to the geological nature, any work carried out on the trench is generally of a temporary nature.

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