Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Traffic warning as MoD lightning conductors are removed

Government has warned of major disruption to traffic on the east side as the MoD sets about removing two of its lightning conductors which are installed between Rock Gun and Williams Way.

There will be no foot pedestrian access at any time even along the bypass road during this time that it is open to vehicular traffic. Instead a minibus shuttle service will be provided by the MoD for all those wishing to travel on foot along this route between the two points.

These lightning conductors consist of two 450 metre long copper/steel cables, which each weigh over 1 ½ tons and are anchored at Williams Way and rise diagonally up the Rock face to two separate anchor points at Rock Gun.

The conductors have begun to deteriorate and if they should fall away from the rock there could be a potentially very serious accident, said Government. In order to remove them safely and to minimise the chance of accident due to rock fall whilst the works are carried out, the road directly underneath will have to be closed for certain periods during the nights of Tuesday 17 and Thursday the 19 with a contingency of working on Sunday 22 May.

In order to limit the considerable possible inconvenience to the public that will result, the works, which will be undertaken by members of 20 Field Squadron Royal Engineers, will take place overnight during the silent hours. However for half an hour on each day, between 9pm and 10pm, the road will have to be closed in order to detach the ground cable and move it to the base of the rock face as preparation before commencing the pulling operation up the cliff face. This part of the operation needs to be undertaken in daylight, as men will be working directly beneath the cliff face. Thereafter the road will be closed intermittently between 11 pm and 6 pm with the road opening for 30 minute periods every two hours to allow traffic through. During these periods lifting operations will stop and a bypass road will be opened between the MOT centre and the entrance to Catalan Bay to ensure no vehicles drive directly underneath the rock face.

A service will run every 30 minutes, leaving on the hour and half hour and will pick up people from the traffic control point at the entrance of Catalan Bay (the Lido), The Caleta Hotel and the reception of the Both Worlds complex. From there it will move through Admiralty Tunnel to the junction of Line Wall Road/ Cloister Ramp where it will terminate.

Emergency services' access to the area will be unaffected by the works as work will be interrupted as necessary to allow emergency vehicles to pass safely.

The engineers are working closely with the Government Technical and Highways departments to ensure the best solution with the least possible inconvenience has been selected. Also, emergency services and the shuttle bus will use Admiralty Tunnel to by pass the works.

All residents in the affected area will receive a letter from the MoD detailing these arrangements.

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