"Extremely urgent" work to rebuild an 85-year-old sewage chamber which services over 1,500 properties has begun this morning to prevent it from collapsing and causing environmental damage.
Drivers are now being warned to avoid the Five Oaks roundabout - the chamber is underneath it - for the next three weeks as engineers begin the rebuilding process.
From today, they will neither be able to access the roundabout from La Grande Route de St Martin, nor exit the roundabout on to Princes Tower Road.
Pictured: The sewage chamber pictured in 2014.
The damaged sewage chamber, which is 3.5 metres deep and was originally constructed in the 1930s, has five inlet pipes that take in the majority of the foul sewage from around 1,700 properties in the northeast of Jersey.
Engineers discovered the chamber was at risk of collapsing as a result of bio-chemical erosion during an inspection conducted as part of the upcoming resurfacing project along La Grande Route de St. Martin, which will take place over the school summer holidays.
If the chamber collapses, it could have a significant impact on the island’s sewerage system and the environment, which is why officials say it needs to be urgently replaced.
The Growth, Housing and Environment Department's drainage team have placed cones on the roundabout to keep vehicles away from the chamber.
Pictured: "The work is extremely urgent," said Principal Engineer Andy Downie.
Although the roundabout will close as part of the resurfacing in September, engineers have decided to rebuild the chamber as soon as possible.
Principal Engineer Andy Downie explained: “We understand that undertaking major roadworks during school term will cause disruption and delay, however the work is extremely urgent. We apologise for the disruption and hope road users will be patient and plan extra time for their journeys while this vital work is carried out.”
Vehicles coming down La Grande Route de St. Martin will be able to travel as far as the entrance to Morrison’s garage. The main diversion route for southbound traffic will go via La Hougue Bie.
Motorists wishing to access Princes Tower Road from St. Saviour’s Hill and Bagatelle Road will be diverted via La Grande Route de St. Martin and Rue du Trot.
Pictured: The works will affect traffic in the area for up to three weeks.
Buses will follow the diversion routes, with some stops being temporarily suspended. Up-to-date information will be available on the Liberty Bus website.
Access to all businesses and premises in the area will be maintained, but drivers might have to use the diversion routes.
Traffic diversions will remain in place for the duration of the work, which, due to its urgency, will continue over the weekends to minimise the length of disruption.
Engineers will be at work Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 18:00, and Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00.
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