Cavity causes significant delays to completion of railway bridge works

Cheshire East Council is currently undertaking safety improvements to the railway bridge on Wilmslow Road.

As a result the bridge is currently closed at all times from the junction of Heyes Lane to Ryleys Lane.

The road was due to reopen on the Sunday 19th August, however, engineers have discovered a cavity running under the footpath, which appears to be linked to a water pipe running parallel to the kerb. Investigations are ongoing, with the assistance of relevant utility companies, to determine the cause.

Councillor Craig Browne said "The pipe, installed in 1937 was apparently the subject of a burst back in 2002. From early indications, it would appear that the egress of water over time has washed away the earth, leaving a sink hole underneath the road and footpath falling away to the adjacent car park. On the other side of the carriageway, a steel gas pipe has been discovered (which is leaking); engineers from British Gas are currently drilling pilot holes to determine the point of egress.

"Naturally, this is likely to lead to the bridge remaining closed for a significantly longer period than was first envisaged. Unfortunately, I have received a number of reports of abuse towards the engineers and whilst I understand that the situation may be frustrating, it is better that this problem was identified whilst the bridge was closed to vehicles, rather than the alternative which could of course have had disastrous consequences. I would ask everyone to join me in supporting the engineers to carry out their work and allowing them to get on with the job in hand (albeit one which is now significantly more complex than was first envisaged).

Councillor Browne added "In the meantime, as Davey Lane is being used an unofficial diversion route, I have asked CE Highways to put out some "Slow Down" signs to advise drivers, as well as some "Businesses Open as Usual" signs to help the village traders during this prolonged closure."

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said "The road will not reopen until it is safe to do so. Additional resources have been assigned and the highways team's working hours extended to complete investigations as swiftly as possible.

"We thank motorists, businesses and residents for their patience during this necessary work."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Taylor
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 3:29 pm
A hole has appeared in the road and engineers are looking into it!

It’s the way I tell ‘em....
Jon Williams
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 5:19 pm
We will have another hole in Davey Lane soon due to the extra vehicles using it, a collapsed drain that I reported to C/E months ago.
Davey Lane should not be used as a diversion route, the road is too narrow and you can not see around the railway bridge.
David Hadfield
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 6:10 pm
It's certainly not the fault of the engineers working on this problem and I'm surprised abuse has been hurled at them.
As is usual in these cases, the experts announce it will take possibly 2 weeks to repair, but we all know these estimates are way out and the repairs usually take double the allotted time initially suggested ……
Remember the Airport Tunnel repairs ? ….. it took almost twice as long as estimated.
Beverley Chapman
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 6:14 pm
Chorley Hall lane is a traffic nightmare with huge lorries and wagons going over the bridge which has a weight restriction on it. And speeding. But it is better to get the work done on the Railway Bridge and it's sad that some folk are giving the teams working on this abuse - just totally uncalled for. Must be people who live outside the village.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 9:47 pm
@David Hadfield: "It's certainly not the fault of the engineers working on this problem and I'm surprised abuse has been hurled at them."

Perhaps you could point us towards any "abuse", hurled or not, in their direction?
David Hadfield
Thursday 9th August 2018 at 10:52 pm
Pete Taylor, if you read the initial report fully, you will read Lisa's comments ……
"I have received a number of reports of abuse towards the engineers"
Alan Brough
Friday 10th August 2018 at 2:14 pm
It's completely inappropriate to hurl abuse at the engineers and workers involved in this contract.

Any abuse, rotten eggs, cabbages and turnips should be hurled at CE Council Highways Dept. for their on-going neglect and mismanagement of our roads, so for your convenience I provide the following link......

https://www.cheshireeasthighways.org/report-it-general.aspx
David Emmerson
Friday 10th August 2018 at 9:09 pm
Still it's provided some handy parking spaces for those visiting Piccolino, on the main rd in front of the barriers. Unbelievably tonight someone has parked at the other end opposite Heyes Lane on the chevrons, causing traffic turning right into Heyes Lane to cut the junction into oncoming cars!
Craig Browne
Monday 13th August 2018 at 1:55 pm
Hi all,

I have spoken to the engineers again this lunchtime and they have confirmed that British Gas should be on site tomorrow to repair the gas leak (which is the first priority). By Wednesday, United Utilities should be on site to repair the leaking water pipe, which means that as long as everything goes according to plan from this point, Cheshire East Highways should be back on site by the end of the week to carry out the footpath widening and road resurfacing. They are aiming to have everything completed before the end of August.

Kind regards,
Craig
Mark Francis
Monday 13th August 2018 at 3:55 pm
Many thanks for the continual status updates Craig. So refreshing to have someone in place that is proactive about change and seeks to keep people informed as to progress.
Beverley Chapman
Monday 13th August 2018 at 11:27 pm
Thank you Craig your update is invaluable. As always you work very hard, in so many ways for our village. You are a real asset.
Lesley Smith
Tuesday 14th August 2018 at 5:49 pm
I agree with Beverley that the speed of traffic on Chorley Hall Lane seems to be getting much quicker. It is quite worrying especially with the increased traffic due to the bridge works. Also Chorley Hall Lane during the day has cars parked virtually the full length so there are no passing places, this is causing jams now with cars diverting.
Craig is there anyway a 20 mile an hour speed limit in and around the village could be considered? I have noticed more and more places adopting this and it may help slow cars down? Thanks for your updates
John Clegg
Tuesday 14th August 2018 at 5:56 pm
And, David Hadfield, the Styal Road single-lane running, between Staff East car park and Ringway Rd junction, managed by 4-way traffic lights which was scheduled from 5th Feb for 5 weeks.
And then just before that deadline expired, it quietly went up to 7 weeks.
Then to 11 weeks.
Then just before the 11 weeks limit, it went up to August....
To be fair, it was late July when we dot back to the usual 2 lanes' running.

On the other hand, the Dean Row Rd link to the A34 was scheduled for 2 weeks from 4 August - but was completed by the morning of Mon 13th Aug.
Lesley Smith
Tuesday 14th August 2018 at 5:56 pm
I agree with Beverley that the speed of traffic on Chorley Hall Lane seems to be getting much quicker. It is quite worrying especially with the increased traffic due to the bridge works. Also Chorley Hall Lane during the day has cars parked virtually the full length so there are no passing places, this is causing jams now with cars diverting.
Craig is there anyway a 20 mile an hour speed limit in and around the village could be considered? I have noticed more and more places adopting this and it may help slow cars down? Thanks for your updates
John Mills
Tuesday 14th August 2018 at 6:56 pm
It would help if the workmen worked every day and longer hours. At tomes during normal working hours there is no activity. Another joke from CEC highways dept.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 14th August 2018 at 9:43 pm
@ John Mills, your local Conservative CEC Councillors voted to out-source their Highways operations six years ago to a company called Ringway-Jacobs. Think back to when all these issues started to arise an think back to who you had voted into “power” back then. To be frank, all of this was not impossible to foresee.
Craig Browne
Wednesday 15th August 2018 at 11:41 am
Hi Lesley,

Thanks for your comment and question. Introducing a 20mph limit is something we have looked at and considered through one of the Neighbourhood Plan working groups. Whilst the idea has merit, it is important to remember that a 20mph limit is not actually enforceable (in other words, no one can receive a speeding ticket unless they are exceeding 30mph), so the restriction would only be advisory. Looking at introducing some traffic calming would probably be more effective, in terms of helping to reduce speed and I am currently in discussion with CE Highways to see what might be possible in this respect. The Parish Council has recently invested in a new Speed Indicator Device, which should be in place tomorrow.

Kind regards,
Craig
Craig Browne
Wednesday 15th August 2018 at 11:52 am
Hi John (M),

Whilst I can understand your frustration, once any issues with leaking gas or water are identified, the relevant utilities companies take over the responsibility for any repairs. As these repairs are outside the remit of CE Highways, their engineers are unable to return to the site until the repairs have been completed.

Kind regards,
Craig

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