Residents in the area and motorists alike suffered with 6 months of disruption between October last year and March when work that was meant to take just 6 weeks to complete carried on following a number of technical difficulties and multiple burst pipes. Questions have been asked as to what has been occurring to cause so many incidents of flooding, loss of supply and reduced water pressure, as reported previously by Island Echo.
Now, it has been revealed that temporary traffic lights are set to return for up to 7 weeks from early in May to dig up, remove and replace water pipes that have faulty seals which have been causing water leaks and, as reported yesterday, the road to partially collapse.
Island Echo understands that a method called electro-fusion has been used to join pipes together where room is limited due to gas and electricity services, a method that has not worked and will need to be replaced by conventional welding.
The news comes just days after Island Roads repainted the white lines and double-yellow lines on St John’s Hill, including the problematic area between Meaders Road and School Street.
A Southern Water spokesman has told Island Echo:
“We apologise to customers in St John’s Hill, Ryde and the surrounding area for the ongoing disruption caused by our water main replacement in the road.
“In our effort to keep the road open while the work took place and because of the large number of other services such as gas pipes and electricity cables in the road, there have been some technical difficulties with the joints on some sections of the pipe.
“Some of the seals have leaked and we will have to go back and replace them.
“The leaks caused some damage to the road surface which has since been fixed and the road was reopened to traffic on Tuesday afternoon.
“We will be returning to complete this job on 12th May and expect to be finished by the end of June. Temporary traffic lights will be in place while that work is under way”.
Defending the problems experienced, the spokesperson continued:
“Over the last five years we have replaced more than 25km of water mains on the Island to reduce the risks of bursts and leaks, with great success.
“However, as with any complex engineering work like this, from time to time things will go wrong but we can assure customers we are doing everything we can to get this job completed as soon as possible and with minimal disruption.”