By a County Press reporter

Friday, September 5, 2003



IW Council leader Shirley Smart cuts the tape to re-open the shored-up section of the scenic Military Road with transport portfolio holder Cllr Ernie Fox and an open-topped tour bus on hand to enjoy the view. Picture by JENNIFER BURTON.

By Richard Wright THE SCENIC Military Road at Afton Down was officially re-opened on Friday by IW Council leader Cllr Shirley Smart after the £2.7 million stabilisation scheme and re-alignment at Shippards Chine.

Re-opening to two-way traffic came after two years of single-carriageway operation and nine months of closure while stabilisation work was carried out.

The innovative scheme was hailed as a major success of a partnership between the council and a private contractor and was welcomed by residents and the tourist industry.

The Afton Down section of the road, with its panoramic clifftop views, is now supported by 260 piles bored 22 metres into the chalk and anchored to the cliff. The props will all have to be removed in 50 years, however, or when more than half of the face of the piles become exposed by erosion.

Re-opening came more than six weeks later than originally hoped but on budget and £1.6 million cheaper than original tenders.

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