Torquay's Fleet Street to stay closed for longer
FLEET Street in Torquay town centre is to remain closed for a month longer than originally planned.
Contractors are currently carrying out an improvement scheme on behalf of Torbay Council along a 140-metre section at the lower end of Fleet Street.
As part of the scheme to regenerate the Fleet Street shopping area, contractors have removed block paving that was originally laid in 1989 and they will be replacing it with granite paving.
The works schedule included the closure of Fleet Street between 14 January and 19 February, with buses being diverted during this period.
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However, when the contractors excavated the carriageway they ran into unforeseen conditions.
These included more mass concrete than anticipated which will have to be broken up before removal, various uncharted services, and high voltage cables that must be protected.
The water main will have to be protected with concrete, and ducts for various communications companies will also have to be diverted or lowered.
Torbay Council has agreed to extend the road closure until 19 March. Letters have been delivered in the Fleet Street area to explain the reasons, provide information relating to deliveries arrangements and apologise for any inconvenience.
Cllr Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Safer Communities and Transport, said: "It is unfortunate that Fleet Street will have to remain close for longer than originally anticipated, with its effect on bus services.
"However, it is important to remind people that shops and businesses remain open, with full access maintained for pedestrians.
"We are confident the contractors and various utility companies will do everything they can to resolve all the issues as quickly as they can. This will include the contractors working on Saturdays and potentially bringing in extra people at the appropriate time.
"However, we appreciate that they are also in the hands of the utility companies who will need to programme the essential diversion and protection work relating to their services.
"We will endeavour, if possible, to get the road re-opened sooner rather than later.
"Despite this unforeseen extra work, we hope that the widely welcomed scheme, which forms the first phase of a proposed £2.5-million revamp in Fleet Street, will still be completed by the middle of June."