Bouldnor Road will be shut for seven weeks during Island Roads Isle of Wight highways PFI work. Picture by Peter Boam.
A MAIN Isle of Wight road will be closed for seven weeks as part of the final stage of a stabilisation and improvement project by Island Roads.
The highways PFI company said Bouldnor Road, Yarmouth, would be closed from February 17 until April 4 approximately.
It has led to anger from some Yarmouth businesses however, concerned about the impact on trade of such a long closure.
The works have been co-ordinated to coincide with the replacement of electricity cables and gas mains in an effort to avoid the new surface having to be excavated unnecessarily.
Work started in November, when single lane traffic restrictions were introduced, however it was now necessary to close the road for the safety of workers and residents, according to Island Roads.
Geotechnical project engineer Kieron Blamey said: "We have worked hard to keep Bouldnor Road open for as much of our works as possible to help minimise disruption for residents.
"However, for both safety and practical reasons, we now need to put in place a road closure so that we can complete the final stages of our stabilisation works and associated road surfacing and so that the utility companies can complete their works.
"By doing this in one operation, we hope to avoid ongoing disruption to residents and, crucially, complete the work ahead of the Easter holidays. Whilst it is envisaged that the closure will be necessary for seven weeks, we will do everything possible to complete the works in as short a timescale as possible and continue to keep residents, visitors and local businesses informed."
A mile-long stretch of road, from Victoria Road to St Swithins Crescent will be reconstructed.
After the surfacing works are complete, temporary traffic lights will be put in place, while work on the car park and footways is finished.
Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for the Highways PFI, Cllr Jonathan Gilbey, said: "I am sure the public will be pleased to hear that these major investment works are progressing well and the closures have been programmed to avoid the main holiday season where possible.
"Having a longer closure now will also allow the necessary utility work to be done without having to dig up the road again so shortly after it has been resurfaced."
But Yarmouth mayor Cllr Steve Cowley said there was real anger in the town about the closure.
"We were originally told the road would be closed for only short periods. Then we got this news," he said.
For more reaction to the closure from Yarmouth businesses, see today's Isle of Wight County Press, Friday, February 7.