Essential utility diversions needed to prepare for walkway replacement

Station Road, Bovey Tracey

Posted on: 13 February 2017

A number of utility service connections in Bovey Tracey will have to be diverted later this month (February) in preparation for a scheme to replace a cantilever walkway in the town.

The steel walkway on the north side of the B3344 Station Road in Bovey Tracey, which is around 80 years old, needs replacement.

The cantilever structure is suspended above the flood leat channel off the main River Bovey to provide a public footpath along the road. It has been used by the electric, gas and telecoms utility companies for the routeing and support of their cables, ducts and pipes.

In order for the structure to be replaced, this equipment needs to be removed from the underside of the structure, and permanent diversion works are planned to be carried out from Thursday 23 February to Saturday 15 July.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The cantilever walkway is approaching the end of its serviceable life. Interim strengthening work was carried out around six years ago with another small amount of work planned to be carried out shortly. To enable this structure to be replaced, the utilities equipment has to be removed to ensure there is no risk of damaging the connections and no health and safety risk to construction personnel. That means these utility diversions are essential.”

Cllr George Gribble

Councillor George Gribble, Devon County Council Councillor for Bovey Tracey Rural, said: “This necessary work has to be done and every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the town. While the utility companies carry out this diversion work, we will ensure that no other road work, except emergencies, will take place on any of the other arterial roads entering Bovey Tracey.”

In order to minimise disruption to road users, new ducting routes will initially be drilled under the road and river, which is expected to take around five weeks. Once this is in place, the utility companies will break their existing services each side of the walkway and connect new lengths of cable / pipe between these points. This will involve work in the road, which will be carried out using temporary traffic signals, and is scheduled to take around 15 weeks.

The utility companies will also take the opportunity to update their apparatus to meet future needs. Western Power Distribution will construct a new sub-station with increased supply capacity. This will be built in the car park behind the Craft Centre / Museum building, replacing the old sub-station currently in the building. BT will relay new cables along the length of Station Road to its exchange and a fibre optic connection point.

Posted in: Environment