A busy main road that was resurfaced just months ago at a cost of more than £600,000 is set to be dug up again less than a year later.
The blunder, which City of York Council has said is “not an ideal situation”, is down to miscommunication, according to the local authority.
The council bid for cash from Government to upgrade drains and fix defects on Tadcaster Road.
But after the council was told their bid was unsuccessful in March, they got on with doing some urgent resurfacing works between The Horseshoe and St Aubyns Place in late May while traffic levels were low in lockdown.
The council now says the Government changed its mind and gave them the cash for upgrading Tadcaster Road later in June. And that it has since emerged that Northern Gas Networks also want to dig up the road to carry out repair work.
Work could last 20 weeks
A council spokesperson said that about half of the resurfacing work carried out in May will be dug up this month as Northern Gas Networks starts its works.
The utility works start today, Saturday, and will last between 16 and 20 weeks. Old gas mains are set to be replaced.
The council will then resurface the road again, recycling the materials put down four months ago.
The full length of Tadcaster Road is then set to be upgraded in January 2021 – with nine months’ worth of roadworks.
Using the £5 million awarded by Government the drains will be improved to reduce surface water flooding. Extra pedestrian crossings will be created and the road will then be resurfaced.
The road could be shut at times during the works.
A council spokesperson said while the situation “is not ideal”, the authority would rather sacrifice a small part of the resurfacing work carried out earlier this year than risk having part of the full £5 million scheme dug up by Northern Gas Networks to carry out their pipe upgrades at a later date.
‘We want to apologise’
Richard White from Northern Gas Networks said the company spoke to the council “earlier in the spring,” adding: “We want to apologise for the impact the project will have on the council’s scheme and inconvenience to the local community, but the gas main involved was laid in 1920 and has needed several emergency repairs in the last few years.
“It has now been prioritised for replacement to ensure a continued, resilient supply of gas to the area.”
There are currently 35 blocked gullies along Tadcaster Road, which makes the route vulnerable to surface water flooding during heavy rain.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, transport lead at the council, said: “It’s excellent news that our bid for £5 million to upgrade Tadcaster Road to reduce localised flooding has been reviewed by Government and is now in approved.
“Our primary goal is to ensure these works are coordinated with utilities companies so that the level of disruption for residents, businesses and visitors is reduced as much as possible.”
The road will remain open to pedestrians during the works.