Wiltshire Council has updated the timeline for repairing and reopening the B4069 Lyneham Banks road, which currently remains closed due to a major landslip.
The council has been monitoring the ground around the land slip remotely, using drones to survey and identify ground movement as the site has been too dangerous to complete surveys on foot. These surveys have concluded that the ground movement has largely stopped for now, but it could resume if there is sustained wet weather.
While the ground is relatively stable during the summer, the council intends to carry out essential ground investigations, including boreholes, trial pits and material testing, which will be used to inform the design work for the repaired road.
This information will be used to develop the design of a replacement road, along with the measures required to reduce the risk of further damage. Subject to the ground investigations works, it is hoped that the road design will take place during autumn, with a view to finalising proposals by the end of the year so that construction work can begin in 2023.
The council anticipates that the new road would be constructed in the summer of 2023, and opened in the autumn of that year.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We know how difficult this road closure is for the local community and businesses, and that’s why we’re doing all we can to get it rebuilt and reopened as soon as possible.
“However, this is a major engineering project, and we have to ensure we take all steps necessary to understand how far the land has slipped, why it has slipped, and what steps we can put in place to ensure that it doesn’t slip again once rebuilt so it can be used safely.
“We aim to complete the second phase of ground investigations in October and then complete designs for the ground stabilisation and the new road in early 2023. Construction is expected to begin by summer 2023, with the road reopened in the autumn.
“We apologise to anyone inconvenienced by this ongoing closure, which has been caused by circumstances beyond our control, and we look forward to the road reopening later in 2023.”
The reinstatement of the road will require extensive earth moving operations to remove slipped material and to stabilise the ground before the road can be built. The scheme is also likely to involve the removal or moving of large volumes of unsuitable material, the importation of fill material, extensive civil engineering works and drainage improvements.
As with any major project, the timeline is subject to change if there are long periods of inclement weather.
To find out more about the project, people should go to: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-b4069-lyneham-banks