“The Promenade Reconstruction Scheme Is Set For Yet Another Delay.”

‘Already months behind schedule, it was only announced last month that the completion date for the £21m Douglas project has been pushed back from October 2020 to April 2021.

But highways chiefs have now indicated there will be further delays, to avoid construction work taking place in front of hotels during the summer.

The plight of struggling businesses was raised in Tynwald last month during a debate on a damning scrutiny committee report into the impact of the prom scheme.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said delays to the scheme have been caused by contractors coming across uncharted pipes and cables. Now, asked if the revised end date of April 2021 still stands, a spokesman for Mr Harmer’s department said: ’The department has received new phasing plans from the contractor and discussions are taking place over how they may be finalised, taking into consideration the needs of residents and businesses following a period of consultation.’

The spokesman said the revised programme is currently being developed to identify how construction work can be progressed without working on the land side of the promenade during the summer.

’Should this prove acceptable, no major footway or highway construction work will be undertaken in front of hotels during these periods,’ he said.

He explained that alteration to the completion date is based on the impact of ’compensation events’.

All such events are evaluated individually and ’may or may not contain elements of planning, material order or co-ordination’.

’There are no cases where plans have not been signed off,’ he insisted. ’Where variations are required due to unforeseen conditions, a detailed approvals process is in place.’

Penalty clauses have not been abandoned, the DoI said.

But now it’s not just the road being dug up, the Promenade walkway is too.

A number of the proposed ducts and services are now being placed under the promenade walkway.

This wasn’t the original plan but has been ’taken forward as it has both cost and time benefits’, said the DoI spokesman.

He stresses that when complete, the width of the walkway will remain the same.

A new 180mm water main installed along Loch Promenade is now live, provide extra fire hydrants should these ever be needed by the emergency services.

Further works are currently being carried out on tram tracks that have already been laid.

Following concern that noise levels on the track is higher than expected, the rail is being grinded to smooth the surface and remove any imperfections.

Cracking of the red concrete in the tram corridor continues to be monitored.

A number of reports have been produced, each identifying possible causes and how it can be prevented in future.

More than 140 feedback sheets were completed and returned following the recent consultation with residents and businesses.’

Isle of Man Newspapers


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