By a County Press reporter

Thursday, April 8, 2004



Part of the £2.7 million work on the Military Road last year. Now a 300-metre section must be dug up again.

By Gavin Foster

A 300-metre section of the West Wight's spectacular Military Road, underpinned just six months ago in a ground-breaking £2.7 million scheme held up as an example of good practice, will have to be dug up after it was found to be faulty.

The road will be closed for several weeks after Easter so a series of depressions discovered along the length of the new stretch can be repaired.

Over the busy Easter period — vital for the area's tourist trade — the section will be controlled by traffic lights. After Easter it will be closed entirely for the work to go ahead.

The stretch was opened in September after a project hailed as a blueprint for similar schemes around the country was completed. The aim was to extend the life of the Military Road for 50 years.

But during recent monitoring up to 50 depressions — each between 2cm and 3cm deep — have been discovered around tie bars used to support the piles that hold up the road.

IW Council's head of engineering services Steve Matthews said the cost of the repair work would not fall on the council because it was still under guarantee.

"The problem could be a number of things. The material that went into the formation of the new road may not have been up to specification. There could also be a problem with the compounding of material around the concrete anchor blocks, he said."

Mr Matthews said engineering consultants High-point Rendell were evaluating the problem.

"We have been let down by some unfortunate occurences but we will put them right as soon as possible," said Mr Matthews.

"This was a flagship scheme held up as an example of best practice and it is very unfortunate there has been this problem."

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