A project to improve drainage and reduce the risk of standing water and ice on Richmond Hill will begin this week.
The safety-critical work forms part of a planned programme and is scheduled to take place from Thursday (20 May), with an anticipated completion date of Saturday 24 July.
It is being undertaken during the summer to ensure the current issues do not continue next winter. The effects of climate change mean that rainfall and flash floods have increased, and will continue to do so, and measures are being put in place to reduce the chance of the drainage system on Richmond Hill from becoming regularly overwhelmed.
Traffic lights will be used to enable the work starting this week to take place over short sections. The lights will be in place 24 hours a day and the speed limit in the area will be reduced to 30mph.
A diversion route is available on the St Mark’s road, which has had significant planned investment in recent years to allow for periods of work on the A5, including Richmond Hill, to improve road conditions and safety. Traffic speed has been monitored in the area and does not present any significant concern, particularly as speeds are likely to reduce with more people using the route.
The recent replacement of Mullen-y-Quinney Bridge, near Blackboards, has also improved Old Castletown Road to allow it to be used as another diversion route.
The Department of Infrastructure will liaise with the police to ensure speed checks take place on both diversion routes in the interests of safety.
Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker MHK said:
‘The safety of motorists and their passengers is always central to every project undertaken on our road network, and your patience is appreciated while this critical scheme takes place before the colder weather returns.
‘Diversion routes have been improved as part of the Department’s strategic planning in preparing for this and future works on the A5. In addition, the permanent traffic lights at Anagh Coar have now been reinstalled, which will allow a better flow of traffic between Douglas and the south than in recent weeks.’
The drainage project starting next week is necessary before remedial works can take place to the surface dressing. Following close consultation with the Department of Infrastructure’s sub-contractor, these works will be undertaken during summer 2022.