On Saturday morning, 12 December I held an onsite, outdoor meeting about the A19 with Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and senior executives from NYCC, WSP the designers / project management company and Balfour Beatty the main contractor. The A19 has been closed since February when it was seriously damaged by Storms Ciara and Dennis. Diversions have been in place ever since and are increasing journey times and putting heavy traffic on rural roads. We need the road re-opened as soon as possible but we also need it to be able to withstand any future flooding.
The road repair got off to a difficult start when each step forward revealed more problems including the need to replace a gas main 3 metres below the road surface and then under the River Aire. On this visit I was impressed to see 8000 tonnes of rock armour in place to protect against possible wave erosion. This is the first stage in the rebuild and is the stage where the work is at greatest risk from adverse weather and possible flooding.
The next major milestone is the completion of the work on the causeway and with rock armour on both sides which will require another 20,000 tonnes of stone. If the weather is favourable this should be completed by March. At that point a re-assessment of outstanding work will be carried out with the objective of setting an earlier date for reopening the road.
While there is a lot of pressure on NYCC and the contractors to get the road re-opened as soon as possible the need to improve the road by inclusion of a cycle path is also recognised. A proposal to build a cycle route alongside the road has therefore been put forward for future consideration.
While a planned communications events had to be cancelled due to covid there is a good vantage point on the river bank in Chapel Haddlesey from which the site and progress is clearly visible. The contractors have displayed information about the project on the hoardings and this is updated regularly.
You can find further information about the project here https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/news/article/north-yorkshire-celebrates-progress-a19-repairs