The disruption to motorists was meant to last just 6 weeks from 4th January, but a staggering 19 weeks later and work is still not complete. Should the water main replacement works finish as planned on 5th June, then they will have lasted a total of 5 months.
Temporary traffic lights were briefly removed from the carriageway over the early May Bank Holiday weekend to comply with Island Roads’ fining structure, however, 2-way lights soon returned resulting in traffic backing up to The Broadway in Sandown and Rowborough Roundabout in Brading. To ease the situation 4-way lights were once again put back at Yarbridge Cross leading to daily 15 minute delays in most directions ever since.
Responding to why there has been such a delay, a spokesperson for Southern Water has told Island Echo:
“All our new pipes undergo stringent testing and commissioning before being put into permanent use.
“While most pass these tests first time, there are occasions when we need to return to make further checks and adjustments. We’ll also be carrying out further reinstatement work to the road surface.
“This will delay our completion date, which is now scheduled for 5 June 2017. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we are sorry it’s taking longer than expected”.
Looking ahead to the upcoming Bank Holiday Weekend, Southern Water have said:
“Works to install the new water main will continue before pressure and chlorine tests can be carried out. Final mains connections will then need to be made before homes are connected to the new water main.
“Normal working hours will continue to be between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, although there may be days when work begins later or concludes earlier to ensure we get the work completed as quickly as we can”.