Motorists driving through Mytholmroyd face an unusual diversion through the fire station’s forecourt during the next stage of the flood defence scheme to provide better protection for 400 properties in the village.
The temporary diversion is needed to enable connections to be made across the new bridge into existing services within Burnley Road.
This month water, telephone, gas, and electric utility services will be redirected across the new Caldene Bridge. From August these services will be diverted along Burnley Road for connection in September and October.
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The full width of Burnley Road will be needed to complete these connections safely with space for machinery. During September and October, a 45m diversion through the fire station forecourt will be in place with the traffic re-joining Burnley Road beyond the utility works.
The diversion for motorists could have potentially been much greater as the service connection work, which is in a particularly constrained area, had the potential to require a full road closure of Burnley Road for several weeks.
Helen Batt, Calderdale catchment director for the Environment Agency, said: “Our aim was to avoid a full road closure for several weeks which would have been incredibly disruptive.
“After examining alternatives options, this diversion through the fire station was seen as the best solution to minimise impact on residents and businesses in the local community and the Calder Valley.
"We will be doing everything we can to work as efficiently as possible throughout the project and will continue to keep the public informed as the work progresses.”
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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.
Calderdale Council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, Mark Thompson, said: “The relocation of Caldene Bridge is an essential part of the works to help protect local residents and businesses from the devastating effects of flooding.
"After careful consideration, officers have agreed that the temporary diversion is the best way to ensure the work is done safely, helping to keep traffic moving through the valley and achieving a balance between getting the job finished and minimising disturbance.”
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, or email mytholmroydFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk.