Today (Monday) motorists are going to face even more disruption as work begins on Loch Promenade, Douglas.
Traffic has been disrupted in a number of places in recent weeks during the high season for roadworks.
But the island’s network planning manager says there really is no practical alternative.
A combination of poor weather conditions earlier in the year, seasonal considerations, safety issues and long term planning and consultation are behind the latest work which seems to have struck the island all in one hit.
But the major scheme on Peel Road - due for completion in July 2014 - is still running ahead of schedule and access routes from all parts of the island are being adequately maintained, said the Department of Infrastructure’s Derek Sewell.
‘We were struck by very, very bad weather conditions earlier this year and then we have had preparations for the TT and Manx Grand Prix. Also the work we can do while those events take place is limited because when practices and races are going on it takes out a lot of the road network so the other roads have to be clear. That does not leave a lot of time to get things done,’ he said.
Apart from the major 80-week scheme on Peel Road, work is due to start on the first phase of the promenade reconstruction, from the Sea Terminal to Peveril Square today.
The work will continue throughout the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT fortnight affecting a route already prone to congestion during road closures. But Mr Sewell said the disruption will be minimal at that early stage with two-way traffic maintained.
Moreover, he said it has to begin now in order to be complete in time for TT 2014 and the heavier influx of visitors that will bring.
A number of factors are behind the multiple schemes. Surface dressing – treatment with loose chippings – can only be done in the warmer weather. This seals the road and also gives better grip, on sections of the TT course, for example. Much of this work is carried out by an Isle of Man contractor.
The work at the Blackboards road - the busy route between the capital, the island’s airport and the south - was high priority, despite the impact on commuters who also had to contend with disruption at Peel Road.
‘It had deteriorated rapidly and could not have waited until the conclusion of the Peel Road scheme so the two were bound to clash,’ he said.
‘We try our hardest to plan for minimum disruption and inconvenience and apologise for any caused.
‘But the department has a statutory repsponsibility to maintain the roads in a safe condition.’
Other road works at Ballanard Road, Douglas, which has been closed to through traffic for weeks, the Shoulder Road and Market Street behind Marks and Spencer all add to a sense of chaos.
Work at Governor’s Bridge also disrupted traffic recently.
Where work impacts on businesses consultation about access and trade will also have an effect on the work rate, Mr Sewell said. This was applicable on Peel Road and also to regeneration schemes in Douglas town centre.
Timing for the Market Street scheme, for example was heavily influenced by consultation with Marks and Spencer.
Work on the Shoulder road leading up to the Round Table near South Barrule was unplanned but had to be carried out after a hole opened up probably caused by heavy rain earlier in the year washing away the foundations. Because the hole was in the middle there was no alternative but to close the road.
Belmont Hill in Douglas is currently one-way travelling away from Peel Road.
This means no traffic control is needed at the bottom of the hill for traffic joining Peel Road, minimising disruption to the traffic flow into Douglas.
Most schemes will continue through the Manx GP and Classic TT fortnight with the exception of schemes at the Blackboards and Shoulder which will be completed. Work at Ballanard Road will be suspended for two weeks then resume but will end in October.
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