Ipswich: Cracking up – Travel Ipswich runs into trouble
09:49 14 January 2013
DOZENS of paving slabs laid before Christmas as part of a multi-million project to improve travel in Ipswich will have to be replaced – because they are cracking under the weight of traffic.
Transport bosses admit the bill for replacing the damaged slabs in Princes Street will run into tens of thousands of pounds.
The work had been carried out as part of the Travel Ipswich project, a £21m package of traffic management upgrades due for completion in summer 2014.
A county council spokeswoman blamed the problem on drivers carrying out illegal manoeuvres.
“The aim of Travel Ipswich is to improve the built environment and the look of the town so it is an attractive place to live, work and do business, and a county town we can all be proud of.
“All materials used during road improvements are of a high quality and meet all requirements for this type of scheme. Some of the new paving slabs on Princes Street have been broken by heavy vehicles illegally driving on to the pavement.
“We would urge road users not to make this type of illegal manoeuvre as it both puts pedestrians at risk and damages pavements. As well as repairing the broken slabs we will strengthening the paving to prevent this happening again.”
Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council has been forced to bring in pumps to prevent flooding in the basement of nearby Franciscan House after the subway under the former roundabout was filled in.
Pumps were used because engineers were not able to calculate how much water would be displaced by the work – they always knew that the basement would have to be waterproofed because it had an entrance into the subway which has now been filled in.
There had been fears that the material used to fill in the underpass had damaged the water table – making nearby properties more vulnerable to flooding.
A council spokeswoman denied this, adding: “We have been checking the impact of the works on the water table and have found no evidence that unexpected issues have occurred.
“Due to there being a door in the basement of Franciscan House at subway level, provision for work to waterproof it was included in the original plans and budget.”