Works to improve and widen junctions at Eastern Way and Montgomery Way on to Warwick Road in Carlisle have been ongoing since July 2018. Good progress has been made despite some challenging weather conditions and the need to divert several utility cables underneath the road and pavement surface.
Several utility diversions have been required, which has resulted in a slightly longer schedule than previously advertised, with the programme of works now expected to be completed in early February 2019. To complete the construction works, the council has coordinated additional work with BT, Electricity North West and Northern Gas Networks.
Over time, tree roots have grown around the ducting which holds major copper and fibre optical cables – providing telephone connections to thousands of nearby properties and businesses. The council has worked closely alongside main contractor Eric Wright Civil Engineering Ltd to develop a new method for dealing with this issue. Using a vacuum excavator – which utilises a high pressure air lance to loosen soil from around the root ball – the large vacuum then sucks the debris in to the wagon. The tree stump and root ball can then be lifted out without damaging the utility cables (photos attached).
The council is working with the local Resident’s Committee to keep them informed of all developments on site, and new signage will be erected shortly to advise motorists of the additional time required to complete the works. The council will ensure that any works that are programmed before Christmas do not disrupt any key events in the city (e.g. late night Christmas shopping, Carlisle United football matches). The proposed United Utility works would not be allowed to commence until the junction improvement works have been completed.
Whilst the council recognises and apologises for the frustration and inconvenience caused by these works, they are vital to improve and enhance the local road network, to provide additional capacity due to the expanding business and housing developments in Carlisle, as identified in the adopted Carlisle City Council Local Plan (2015-2030) and associated Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The utility cables must be handled delicately and carefully to ensure local properties and businesses maintain their services.
For further information on the works, please contact the Highways Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email [email protected]