27 June 2008
The major road works project on Victoria Avenue between Bel Royal and Rue de Galet which has been causing unavoidable traffic delays, is due to be finished on Wednesday 2 July and the road will be back to normal on the morning of 3 July. As well as the new road surface, the project has also delivered new and improved safety measures which will help to reduce the accident rate in and around Bel Royal and the car park entrance near the hamburger bar, better pedestrian facilities, improved street lighting, drainage refurbishment and provision for fuel tankers unloading at Bel Royal garage.
The project was originally scheduled to take only ten weeks, however Transport and Technical Services (TTS) found the condition of the ground below the surface of the road was much poorer than expected. The project had to be lengthened by two and a half weeks to allow an extra thickness of asphalt to be laid to form a new road construction that will ensure a fifteen year life for this road which has 28,000 vehicles a day using it.
“Despite the initial problems with failing to carry out the necessary consultations in advance, we are now nearing the successful completion of the first phase of the Victoria Avenue resurfacing project,” said John Richardson, Chief Officer for TTS. “The Department has recognised its errors and has taken steps to ensure that the Emergency Services are consulted prior to any major road works in the future.”
TTS had identified the need for safety improvements on the Bel Royal stretch of the road both from accident statistics and from public concerns and had scheduled in the necessary works to coincide with the resurfacing project. The improvements include a new entrance and exit layout for the car park near the hamburger bar, new pedestrian crossings, a wider central reservation, a hatched area for fuel tankers to unload at the garage, new and improved kerb realignments and improved street lighting.
The scheme replaces and upgrades infrastructure, some of which was more than 40 years old. The total cost of all the works carried out was initially £1 m broken down as follows:
Drainage and ducts £100k
Street lighting £110k
Landscaping and signage £40k
Kerbs and footways £100k (£3k of which resulted from the liaison with the Emergency services
However, due to the poor condition of the road, additional strengthening was required which cost £200k bringing the total project cost to £1.2m.
“Although this project was mostly about resurfacing, it has also greatly improved safety for both pedestrians and drivers in the far west end of Victoria Avenue,” said Deputy Guy de Faye, Minister for Transport and Technical Services. “This stretch of road was beginning to crack up and was in dire need of upgrade and being one of the most frequently used highways in Jersey it is important to keep it up to standard.”