Four weeks of roadworks which will affect prominent landmarks at either end of the Mountain Road began this week at Ramsey Hairpin.
The tightness of the turn has required a complete road closure during the work and as a result the road has been closed daily with just a route through from the Creg-ny-Baa to the Tholt-y-Will road open between 5pm and 9.30am.
The work at the Hairpin will end today or tomorrow, depending on progress.
The island’s director of highways, Richard Pearson, said larger vehicles could not negotiate the acute turn if the width was reduced using a one-way system controlled by traffic lights. In addition the new surface needed to cool and set properly after the work to ensure traffic negotiating the very tight turn did not cause it to ripple.
From Monday, attention turns to the Creg-ny-Baa corner, which is to be banked to give a favourable camber for drivers.
This is said to provide a more durable alternative to the Shellgrip surface which is now breaking up. Improving the camber on the corner will mean the high friction Shellgrip surface, which is both costly to lay and tends to wear out more quickly, is no longer needed.
Elevation on the corner will be slight, so access to the pub car park is unaffected but it will mean improved cornering for drivers. During this work the road will be closed between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
Access will be permitted to the Peveril Rifle Club, near Windy Corner, and access to the pub should be unaffected. If the work runs behind schedule there is further provision for a road closure each night at 6.30pm to allow teams to catch up. The work is likely to continue for up to three weeks.
While this work is being done, general maintenance will also be taking place on the Mountain Road.
‘People ask why the road can’t be open while this is carried out, but it is a matter of safety on a road that is fast and narrow,’ Mr Pearson said.
‘We have a duty of care to our employees and the public, so it is best to close it.’
As the winter approaches with a promise of worsening weather, a programme to replace around 2,800 defective cats’ eyes is to be completed along with work cutting back undergrowth encroaching on to drainage ditches. This starts on Hailwood Rise. Road markings are to be repainted and there will be miscellaneous patching and repairing and replacement of reflective verge marker posts where they have been hit or collapsed.