Back in January 2020, a retaining wall began to give way leading to fears of a collapse. Within days more cracks appeared and the road began to drop, eventually falling away. A number of properties were evacuated.
The one-way road has remained closed for the past 18 months and is likely to remain shut for several months to come, potentially until February 2022, with traffic orders now in place to extend the prohibition of traffic by a further 6 months. It was said in December last year that work to repair the road would begin in Summer 2021 and would be completed by October.
Now, following isolated movement of a small part of the failed section of the retaining wall at Belgrave Road, Island Roads have taken the precautionary step of closing the footway below on Esplanade Road.
The new movement appears to be further ‘settling’ – in other words the failed section has slumped further into its foundations. Such movement has coincided with the exceptionally heavy rainfall on Monday morning and has occurred despite the steps in place to divert surface rainwater away from the site.
While the wire mesh in place to retain material and protect pedestrians below has not been breached, the decision to close Esplanade Road has been taken as a precautionary measure in the interests of safety.
Island Roads say they will continue to monitor the site and in the meantime, progress plans to stabilise the retaining wall and rebuild Belgrave Road.
UPDATE – Island Roads have confirmed that pre-works to strengthen the surrounding walls in preparation for the re-instalment of the failed Belgrave Road walls commenced in late July. Island Roads say they are currently finalising the procurement of a specialist construction team to start delivering the main works with a target to commence in late summer.
A spokesperson has said:
“We have been working with the conservation officer and local residents as well as Ventnor Town Council to ensure that the new wall and road will meet the needs of the Ventnor community in the future. As the delivery phase of this project progresses, we will ensure the local and wider Island community receive regular updates over the coming months”.