Emergency repairs to a section of sewer beneath the A1120 in Yoxford, Suffolk, will begin on Monday, 20th August.
CCTV cameras were fed through the sewer earlier this year to establish the condition of the pipework. The survey revealed several sections of sewer under the village need to be ‘relined’, to improve their structural integrity and prevent blockages occurring. This repair work is part of an ongoing scheme to improve sewers in the area.
Unfortunately, a section of sewer on Little Street has collapsed since the CCTV survey was carried out. This means emergency works are now needed to replace six metres of damaged sewer pipe which runs underneath the A1120, Little Street, between Strickland Manor Hill and The Lane.
In order to complete this repair as quickly as possible, and to protect the workforce and road users, the road will be closed to traffic. It is anticipated work will take up to five weeks. The footpath alongside the road will remain open for pedestrians.
The sewer pipe, which is seven inches in diameter and made of cement, is almost four metres underground, and sits below the water table in running sand. This means that specialist equipment is needed to drain water from the trench that will be excavated, and to protect the team working in hole. The collapsed section of pipe will be removed and replaced with a new clay pipe.
“We’ll work as quickly and efficiently as we can, including in the evenings and at weekends, to try and get the job done ahead of schedule,” said Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water. “We fully appreciate how inconvenient it will be for locals, and for visitors, and we’re really sorry for this inconvenience. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the damage to the pipe, we must carry out this work over the next few weeks.
“We’re not starting until Monday to try and avoid inconveniencing this weekend’s Yoxford Arts Festival, but we cannot leave the work any longer than that. There is a risk that the collapsed sewer has caused a cavity under the road. This could cause the road to collapse, which would be very dangerous for passing traffic.”
Sewage is currently being diverted around the damaged section of sewer by pumping it through a pipe which runs above the road, and back into the sewer beyond the blockage. Two-way traffic lights are currently in place to protect the pumps and the pipe, and these will remain in place until the road is completely closed at 9:30am on Monday morning.
Diversions will be in place, directing traffic from the A1120 at Badingham onto the B1120 towards Framlingham, before joining the B1119 and reconnecting with the A12 at Saxmundham. Signage will also make it clear that local shops remain open for business, and access will be maintained to businesses and properties. It is anticipated that heavy goods traffic will follow the diversion, while local traffic will use alternative minor local roads.
Anglian Water has been speaking to local residents and businesses to give them warning of the emergency works, and the company will be hand-delivering letters to residents in Yoxford and Peasenham over the next few days. The company will be doing everything possible to ensure visitors to the area and local traffic are aware that businesses are open during the period of the emergency works.
“We’re genuinely sorry for the inconvenience this work will cause,” said Ciaran, “but we hope people will understand that it is emergency work that we cannot postpone. We knew we would be working in this area, and we were in the process of preparing for this work when this latest collapse happened. We have to act now to fix the pipe, as the consequences of not carrying out the repair could be blocked sewers, flooding, and even environmental damage. Needless to say, we want to avoid all of these.”
This latest repair follows a separate piece of work just completed on land adjacent to Little Street, where a damaged section of sewer was also repaired. The road did not need to be closed for that piece of work, but will need to be closed while this latest section of damaged sewer under the road is repaired.