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A59 closure: How long will investigation last at Kex Gill?

The coring rig will help NYCC find out what caused the crack almost two weeks ago
The coring rig will help NYCC find out what caused the crack almost two weeks ago

The closure of a stretch of the A59 will continue as North Yorkshire County Council investigates the cause of a crack in the road.

NYCC closed the road at Kex Gill almost two weeks ago after the discovery of the eight meter crack, but on Monday was able to have specialist equipment delivered to the site. The evidence collected with the ‘coring rig’ will help determine how the council proceeds.

However it has been announced today that it will take the rest of this working week to do this, and the road will remain closed. Once this is done the council has said it will look at all options, including re-opening one of the carriageways with temporary traffic lights in place until permanent repairs are carried out.

A meeting organised by traders hit by the closure at Kex Gill was attended by NYCC Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, and officers on Monday.

Speaking to an audience of businesses and councillors from across the area he said work could not proceed further until the council could find out more about the cause of the instability.

He said: “The current situation as you perfectly well know is that a week ago last Wednesday evening at about 8pm I received a call to let me have the very bad news that at Kex Gill on the highway, below where we did extensive work some two years ago to restore the stability of the slope above the A59, a rather large crack had opened up some eight meters in length and undetermined depth. For obvious reasons with this being a main Transpennine route, carrying big trucks up to 44 tonnes in weight, we had no alternative to close the road that day.”

He added: “We do have very expensive equipment up there at the moment taking coring samples, probably first thing tomorrow, to help us understand why there is instability in the highway.

“Clearly we knew before the slope was unstable and we spent a lot of time and money getting that fixed. But something is now happening, not up there but on the highway or underneath it.”

A further story will be published on the meeting by the Advertiser