15 January 2010
Further essential road rebuilding and resurfacing on Victoria Avenue and St Aubin’s Road has received the go-ahead for funding from the States’ fiscal stimulus fund.
£2.3m has been allocated from Treasury and Resources to complete the final phase of the repair and replacement of road, drains and lights on Victoria Avenue, from First Tower to West Park. £0.24m has also been allocated for deep reconstruction and resurfacing works on St Aubin’s Road from the West Park roundabout to the junction with Cheapside.
Giving the projects the green light, Treasury Minister Senator Philip Ozouf said: “The fiscal stimulus programme was established to mitigate the impact of the downturn on local people by injecting cash into the local economy.
“This work on Victoria Avenue and St Aubin’s Road will boost opportunities for contractors at a time when the construction industry, in particular, is still feeling the pinch. The latest Business Tendency Survey shows there is still concern across Jersey’s economy that we are not yet out of the woods. Construction is one of the sectors which is suffering most from the global downturn.
“Fiscal stimulus funding – whether it’s for construction, skills training, businesses, or individuals - doesn’t just benefit those who receive direct help. It helps keep the island working and everyone benefits from that.”
Victoria Avenue Phase 3
Victoria Avenue Phase 3 is one of 24 approved bids for financial support from a £44 million Stabilisation Fund provision to boost economic recovery. The injection of funds allows TTS to top up its budget and complete essential repair works to Victoria Avenue several years before normal budget allocations would permit. TTS will assign an additional £0.6 million of its own budget.
TTS has been aware for a number of years that the road structure underlying Victoria Avenue is inadequate: Investigations have proved that not only is there insufficient thicknesses of road materials, but also that they are in very poor condition. Eventually, this deep instability shows on the surface. The road in the Phase 3 section of works is currently exhibiting this form of surface failure with numerous potholes in the westbound carriageway on the approach to the First Tower Junction. Instead of merely patching the surface (the symptom), the strengthening and resurfacing works will address the underlying cause of the problem.
Four of the Island’s civil works contractors tendered for the project. Each contractor had to demonstrate their use of local labour and plant at the tender stage and was a key factor in the selection process. P Trant (Jersey) Ltd won the competitive tender: As it happens, this is the same contractor that is currently working on the Phase 2 project. Therefore an added advantage of their appointment will mean that traffic management can be more easily coordinated and complimentary, between the two project phases, minimising the potential of disruption to the travelling public.
Anthony Ballantyne from P Trant (Jersey) Ltd said ‘We were delighted that we were awarded the Phase 2 works and our success in securing Phase 3 means that we can provide continuity of work to our employees and to those of our line suppliers. This sector of the industry continues to bear the brunt of the current economic downturn and the stimulus funds will ensure that the skilled labour force remains in the Island.’
Work will begin on Phase 3 works on 19 January 2010 and finish by the end of June, avoiding the morning traffic peak into town and evening peak westward and the weekends. Motorists will be clearly directed around the works, as they have been for the Phase 2 works.
As well as the road strengthening and resurfacing, the majority of the 45-year-old drainage system, which is in very poor condition, will be replaced as part of the project. Adjustments will also be made to the central reservation for pedestrian safety and the west-bound right-turn lane into First Tower will be lengthened to take queuing vehicles off the main thoroughfare. The 40 year old lamp columns are well beyond their intended design life and their replacement will bring the added advantage of improved energy efficiency.
Transport Minister Constable Mike Jackson said: ‘Victoria Avenue is the Island’s most important route and event venue, with 30,000 vehicles travelling on it each day. In recent times it has become clear, that the road is in a very poor state. As this kind of resurfacing work is only undertaken every fifteen to twenty years, it is important to ensure all work that needs to done, is undertaken at once. This minimises disruption and ensures that the newly laid surface is not unnecessarily disturbed for some years to come.
St Aubin’s Road
The two local asphalt contractors with the ability to machine lay asphalt tendered for the works to St Aubin’s Road, which has not been the subject of any maintenance for 26 years. Following this process, the contract was awarded to Le Sech (Asphalt) Ltd. The works will include substantial reconstruction of the road structure, installation of surface water drainage and resurfacing.
The project will be undertaken throughout February: The most disruptive portion of work from the junction with Kensington Street to the junction with Cheapside has been planned to take place in the February half-term holidays when traffic is lighter. During these phases of the project, vehicles will be diverted along Kensington Street and Lewis Street.
Traffic will be diverted onto the westbound carriageway of St Aubin’s Road for the remainder of the work. Consequently, the small number of vehicles that travel westbound along St Aubin’s Road, including those exiting Patriotic Street car park, will not be able to use this route for the duration of the project.
All interested parties, including emergency services, Parish Officials, nearby residents and businesses have already been consulted about both projects.
Necessity of maintenance works
‘There has never been any question that the resurfacing work is essential from an engineering point of view,’ said Chris Sampson, TTS Director of Municipal Services. ‘The only thing that has held us back has been funding. Carrying out the final two phases of Victoria Avenue and St Aubin’s Road will result in some disruption to road-users in the short-term, but will mean that these roads can be continued to be used for over fifteen years without further intervention. ’