Bath & North East Somerset Council is updating residents and businesses on the progress of major works to improve Keynsham High Street and revitalise the town centre.
The project began on June 1 and has made great progress paving the west side of the street in new high-quality materials along with re-arranging the Charlton Road junction and installing new street lighting.
An unforeseen issue with the depth available in the pavement on the east side of the street to install drainage as planned now means that the drainage has to be placed in the carriageway.
This means that the high street will remain closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week while the work is completed. Works on the drainage will begin in early September, alongside the installation of new street furniture, the relocation of the bus stop and delivery of new paving. It is anticipated that the road will reopen later in the Autumn.
These unexpected works mean that sewer works for the housing development in Rock Road have also been delayed, however the council is underlining that Rock Road and Ashton Way will not be closed at the same time as the high street.
The council is working closely with the Rock Road development’s contractors to find an opportunity for the sewer works to be done at a time that minimises the impact on people accessing Keynsham and does not delay the high street programme.
By taking advantage of the extended road closure, foreseeing no further delays, the high street scheme is now expected to be completed in the week beginning November 29 ahead of the Christmas trading period.
Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development & Resources, said: “We will soon reach the three-month milestone of this important improvement project for Keynsham and much progress has been made, however it is often the nature of major construction works that there will be unforeseen issues causing delays and impacting other local projects. Nevertheless we do appreciate the frustration and inconvenience this causes for residents and businesses.
“We are working closely with our contractors and the contractors for the Rock Road development to minimise disruption in any way we can. Please be reassured that Ashton Way and Rock Road will not be closed while the High Street is closed. We will provide a further update on this as soon as we possibly can. Thank you for your continued patience while we find a way forward.”
The High Street scheme will deliver footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage and cycling and bus stop facilities on the High Street between Bath Hill and Charlton Road. There will also be new street furniture, streetlights, landscaping and trees.
It is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth and Getting Building Funds, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. It is also funded by the Combined Authority through its Love our High Streets programme.
The council is working closely with traders to minimise disruption and ensure access during trading hours. Customers and traders are still able to access their premises.
Tarmac ramps to provide access for wheelchairs, pushchairs, motorised wheelchairs, bicycles and pedestrians have been installed where possible. Where tarmac ramps are not possible, industry-standard plastic ramps have been installed. The council is continuing to review the ramps as the work progresses. Anyone wishing to contact the council regarding accessibility can email email@example.com
For more information on the plans and for construction updates please visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham.