Back in November – 7 months ago today – Southern Water started work on installing a larger capacity sewer and in the process took over the Royal George Memorial Garden to install a 21-metre deep stormwater storage tank. The work was meant to finish by the end of this month allowing for The Strand, Simeon Street and the memorial garden to reopen, but work is now not set to finish until the end of September.
Simeon Street was due to reopen next week but this has now been pushed back to 25th September whilst The Strand, which was due to reopen on 30th June, will now not reopen until 21st August. The news comes as a blow for the tourist destination of Ryde meaning parking will remain limited throughout the busy Summer period and means continued disruption for residents.
A Southern Water spokesperson has confirmed to Island Echo that the delays have been made necessary due to unexpected ground conditions. Test drilling last year to survey the terrain to prepare for the deep pipe line revealed the route to be of stiff clay, but in places running sand and boulders have been discovered which have prevented the auger from boring a route. The discovery has meant that contractors have had to open cut a further section of pipe route and reduce the depth of the upstream section.
The open cutting – the digging up of the road – has meant the route of the adjacent water main has had to be diverted introducing further delays.
“We have made good progress. We have virtually completed the installation of the vital storm tank, some one million litres in capacity and 21 metres deep, with only the cover and ancillary mechanical and electrical work to be carried out. We have also installed the new pipeline from The Strand along Simeon Street (east), including an added section of surface water drainage, and only have two manholes and reinstatement left to do on this section.
“In addition, we have constructed seven manholes along The Strand which will be reinstated as the new pipe is laid through them.
“Meanwhile, we apologise to residents, road-users, local trades and holidaymakers alike for the inconvenience that this essential work to protect properties against sewer flooding is causing but the project should still be completed before the autumn and winter rains come which is when the present system is most vulnerable”.