Rock falls force closure of major road for 10 weeks
By Bev Hawes | 12th September 2018
Gloucestershire County Council is being forced to close a main commuter route because of the dangers of rock falls.
The main road linking Monmouth and Chepstow will be shut from Wednesday 26th September while crews scale back the fractured rock on the roadside embankment.
The A466 Wye Valley just north of Bigsweir Bridge is to be closed for 10 weeks from Wednesday 26th September to Monday 3rd December. A rock embankment above the road is fractured and sections are falling onto the highway below.
The rock poses a danger to the road and vital improvement works are required to ensure the safety of motorists. A full 24 hour road closure will be in place during the 10 weeks so the rock can be scaled back, pinned and netted.
The work will involve scaling the embankment back to remove loose rock and soil. The embankment will then be netted and pinned to prevent any rock falling in the future.
Last January temporary two way traffic lights and concrete barriers in the centre of the road were installed to protect the single running lane. Following the completion of the works in December, the road will be re-opened for two way traffic.
Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: "In the interest of public safety, it is necessary to close this road while our crews undertake the dangerous task of scaling back the fractured rock.
"I understand the closure is going to cause inconvenience for drivers and local businesses, however this work is significant and much-needed to ensure local residents and visitors from outside of the county remain safe on Gloucestershire's roads."
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, county councillor for Sedbury, said: "The A466 is a popular commuter route into Gloucestershire and ...the rock embankment above the road is in need of some urgent attention.
"I'd like to thank road users for their patience while this vital safety work is carried out. Please remember to plan your journeys around these closures, as there may be delays and changes to bus times."
What's the diversion route? (suitable for HGV's)
If approaching from the north, commuters should follow diversion along the A4136 (Staunton Road) towards Staunton and continue on the A4136 towards the junction with the B4228.
Take the B4228 and follow the road through Coleford and Sling, and continue towards Trow. Green, then take the B4231 (Bream Avenue and Bream Road) to Lydney.
In Lydney continue south along the B4231 (High Street) towards the A48. Continue along the A48 all the way to Chepstow. In Chepstow on the roundabout with the A466 take the fourth exit to the A466. The route is the same in reverse.
More information about the scheme can be found online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/A466
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