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Kex Gill to remain closed longer than planned

Kex Gill to remain closed longer than planned

Published at 5:33pm 5th February 2016. (Updated at 11:25am 8th February 2016)

Kex Gill on the A59 between Harrogate and Skipton will now remain closed until the second week of March.

Bad weather last weekend means that further work is needed to stabilise the hillside.

The road was closed on 5 January after significant movement and substantial cracks were detected following heavy rain.

There was concern about the amount of water which had become trapped at the top of the slope.

North Yorkshire County Council's contractor started work to drain the water on 18 January and it was originally expected to take up to six weeks.

However, because of further heavy rainfall, it's now necessary to provide extra drainage measures and to strengthen the retaining wall at the bottom of the slope.

The contractor will be able to carry out some of this work at the same time as the current drainage work, but there is a section on the slope below the drainage works which needs to be worked on separately for safety reasons.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Highways, said: "Stabilising these steep slopes above the A59 is a difficult and complex operation which is entirely weather-dependent.

"We are fully aware of the urgency of the work and our contractor is working seven days a week during daylight hours to progress the work as quickly as possible. The slopes are steep and this high ground is subject to harsh weather conditions.

"Unfortunately, after last weekend's heavy rains, our monitoring of the slope has revealed the need for additional stabilisation and drainage works to move water away from the slope.

"We appreciate the inconvenience that this closure is causing, but safety of the travelling public remains paramount, and I can reassure motorists that we will reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so."

The long-term plan is to realign the A59 at Kex Gill and the cost of that work is currently estimated at around £33 million.

Progress reports on the work will be posted at www.northyorks.gov.uk/kexgill

Kex Gill

Kex Gill

Drainage and stabilisation work on the hillside at Kex Gill