Work is starting to construct a temporary highway and walkway through the forecourt of Mytholmroyd fire station to divert vehicles and pedestrians so that vital flood defence works can continue safely.
The temporary diversion is to enable connections to be made across the new Caldene Bridge into existing services within Burnley Road.
The utility services, including water and gas will be diverted along Burnley Road for connection.
Traffic will continue to be reduced to one lane during the diversion as the full width of Burnley Road is needed to complete these connections safely.
The construction of the temporary highway will start on Monday, September 2 and take around two weeks.
Emergency fire services will continue to be provided throughout the construction of the temporary highway.
The fire engine will be relocated to the VBA site next to the water treatment works at Red Acre, whilst the temporary highway is being built, and will remain fully operational and ready to respond to incidents.
Once the temporary diversion is instated, the fire engine will relocate back to the fire station to operate as normal.
The 45 metre diversion through the fire station with the traffic re-joining Burnley Road beyond the utility works is expected to be in use until late November.
As the diversion is around a bend there may be some increase in queueing time during this phase of the works.
Traffic will continue to be monitored using Bluetooth technology and disruption will be kept to a minimum.
To allow the temporary highway to be removed and the fire station forecourt reinstated, the fire engine will be relocated again to the VBA site. An emergency response service will be maintained as before during this period.
In total the fire engine will be located at its temporary base for two short periods, not for the entire duration that the diversion will be in place.
"Firefighters will still be able to respond to emergencies"
Helen Batt, catchment director for Calderdale with the Environment Agency, said: “We have worked closely with Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that emergency fire services will be provided as usual during the diversion work.”
“Our priority has been to make sure that emergency fire services can be provided as usual throughout the diversion work. We have worked closely with Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to make sure this is possible.”
Mytholmroyd Station Commander Paul Austin said: “We would like to reassure the public that whilst the diversion across the station forecourt is being constructed, firefighters will still be able to respond to emergencies from a temporary base very nearby and our operations will not be affected.
“Once the temporary diversion is instated, firefighters will resume business as usual operating from Mytholmroyd Fire Station. We thank the public for their patience.”
Calderdale Council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, Mark Thompson, said: “We have explored a wide range of options with partners to find a solution that will enable the fire service to remain operational whilst the diversion route is constructed.
“We would like to thank local communities for their continued patience during the construction of this scheme, which will deliver major flood risk reduction benefits to Mytholmroyd in the long term.”
VBA is planning an information event at Mytholmroyd Community Centre on Thursday 10 October to update the community on how construction work is progressing.
Anyone with concerns, questions or feedback can talk to a member of the project team at the Red Acre Site Office or at surgeries on Friday mornings, 9am to 12pm, at Mytholmroyd Community Centre.
Alternatively, they can email - mytholmroydFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk
Flood defence scheme
This service connection work, in a particularly constrained area, could have potentially required a full road closure of Burnley Road for several weeks.
However, the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council recognise the significant impact this would have on the wider community and the economy, so extensive work has been carried out with utility companies to find an alternative solution that keeps Burnley Road open.
The current traffic management scheme on the A646 which has one lane closed will continue to be in place throughout this stage of the scheme and until its completion.
As a result of this work, the overall completion of the £30m flood defence scheme is now expected to be summer 2020. This is because keeping Burnley Road open will impact progress on other areas of the project and add work to the construction programme.