Engineering surveys designed to help draw up options for a diversion around major repairs to the A595 near Low Moresby in Cumbria are underway.
Highways England told residents in April that Moresby Hall embankment, which carries the A595 between the Lowca junction and Howgate roundabout, will need to be rebuilt in the next few years – but not before a temporary road is built to help drivers avoid a 40 mile diversion.
Although the embankment is not in imminent risk of collapse, movement in the Victorian structure has been noted in routine inspections and Highways England is planning now for its replacement.
Highways England staged a public information meeting at Lowca in April to advise local people that the A595 would have to close for the major repairs but it would only close the road once a suitable temporary diversion from Howgate roundabout beyond the closure – running east of the embankment – was in place. The route will save drivers a 40 mile detour via Egremont, Frizington, Lamplugh and Cockermouth.
Highways England project manager Peter Gee said:
Staff from Kier Highways, our main contractors for Cumbria, have been out and about around the area for several months carrying out environmental studies and traffic counts as well as surveying the A595 and local roads as part of the planning phase for these major repairs.
They’re now carrying out geotechnical surveys which will include drilling small boreholes and digging trial pits to investigate ground conditions.
It is important to stress that while drivers and other local people will see this work going on over the next couple of months it is being done to help inform options for the diversion route as well as details of any options such as potential junction designs.
As we said in April we expect it will take between 18 months and 2 years to complete site investigations, preliminary designs, discuss the implications with affected landowners, consult with the local community and finalise a design for the diversion before building it and then starting the embankment repair.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.