North Yorkshire County Council has today been carrying out further surveys at Kex Gill in order to decide on next steps for stabilising the hillside where the A59 is currently closed for safety reasons.
A substantial flow of water has also been observed at the top of the area of instability and geotechnical engineers have been carrying our further studies today with a view to diverting the water.
The county council’s geotechnical engineers carried out a full survey of the slope last Wednesday and advised that significant movement in parts of the slope of up to 800mm had been observed.
The A59 was closed at Kex Gill after substantial cracks were detected on the hillside after recent heavy rain. This stretch of the A59 runs across very high ground between Skipton and Harrogate and has in the past been affected by landslips in bad weather.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways, said:
We are doing everything we can to find out how to stabilise the hillside at Kex Gill in order to reopen the road.
We do not underestimate the significant inconvenience this A59 closure presents to road users in the North Yorkshire, Leeds and Bradford areas but safety on the highway must be our greatest priority.
While the closure continues the county council is urging drivers to use the official signed diversion route. Since the implementation of the emergency closure last Tuesday there have been reports of motorists taking short cuts through the West End/Thruscross, Otley and Addingham areas causing congestion, additional delays, highway damage and road safety concerns.
Cllr Mackenzie said:
Many of the local roads are completely unsuitable for the size and volume of vehicles that normally use the A59.
Where possible, non-emergency highway works on the diversion route will be rescheduled, however there are some immediate repairs required in various locations following the recent flooding event.
The signed diversion route is shown on the online map at www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks – just add “Kex Gill” into the ‘search location’ address bar on the interactive mapping, and click the ‘road sign symbol’ for more information.