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Land slip at Soot Hill, Northwich

Background

Due to a land slip involving a substantial retaining wall that supported the highway, an emergency closure of Soot Hill was needed in late December 2021.

The retaining stonework wall dates from the 1800s. 

An adjacent building on the Cosgrove Business Park was damaged by falling masonry. The Council is liaising with local businesses who have been affected by the land slip.

Latest update

The next phase will involve ground penetrating radar surveys. The site being scanned in preparation for the diversion of utility cables and ground investigation works. Marks will appear on the ground to show the locations of utility cables so Scottish Power can then begin work to move them. As soon as we have a start date for this work, it will appear on this web page.

Previous activity at the site

Residents and businesses have recently seen activity at the site as work started to secure the high voltage cabling, power supply and other piping in the area, including:

  • Anchor blocks were installed at either side of the collapsed section to create a temporary cable bridge for the high voltage cables that were hanging in the void.
  • Generators were on site ready for the power to the hanging cables to be switched off - a generator for each of the substations supplied by the existing cable provided power during this phase of the works.
  • Cranes removed the large concrete slabs that were previously either side of the collapsed section.

Large cranes were needed to start the next phase of works at the Soot Hill landslip

It is not currently safe to access the site due to the risk of further collapse material falling onto the site.

To protect the public, the Council has erected signage around the affected area, asking people not approach the site.

The Council has acted quickly to assess what repairs are needed.

3D laser scan technology has been used to produce plans of the site in order to help our engineers formulate a plan to stabilise it.

The 3D scan shows high voltage electricity and telecommunication cables have been exposed which are suspended above a void, large concrete remnants of the collapse material are above the live cables on each side. Generators are available on standby should there be a further collapse and the electricity supply is affected.

Thankfully nobody has been injured and it is important that we progress in a careful manner to ensure the safety of those undertaking the works and those adjacent to the site.

Lydett Lane, Barnton - new experimental one-way system

An experimental one-way system on Lydyett Lane from Hayes Drive junction through to the junction with Broadway (in a south-westerly direction) has been introduced from 26 April 2022 for up to 18 months.

The traffic situation in Barnton has been closely monitored to see the impact on traffic flows and increased road safety concerns.

Two-way traffic on Lydyett Lane has been a concern for some time, prior to the closure of Soot Hill. There are limited passing places, there are also pedestrian safety concerns as vehicles are currently driving onto the footways to avoid oncoming traffic. A decision will be made at the end of this period, whether it would become a permanent measure.

Stabilisation and further analysis

The process for repairs is a complex one that requires a careful approach to repair the damage and ensure the safety of those undertaking the works and those adjacent to the site.

Power supply

Work will need to take place around the existing power cables. Generators will be needed by Scottish Power to provide power to substations in the area to allow the cables to be switched off. Once the cables are supported and protected, they will be switched back on. This initial work will take a number of weeks to implement and will start as soon as all of the plans are in place.

Once these initial works are implemented the site will be safe enough to access for the investigation team to pinpoint the cause of the land slip.

At the same time, SPEN will be installing new cables on the other side of the road to allow for the ultimate removal of the cables that are currently within the failed section.

Design work will start after the investigation into the cause of the collapse has concluded.

These investigations will inform the ultimate repair, which will be the subject of a further report.

The extent and duration of the work will depend on the findings of the investigation team.

Timescales

Due to complex, difficult, and costly nature of the repairs needed, it is anticipated the road will remain closed for at least a further 12 months. Our response to the land slip is being progressed as promptly as possible.

Further updates will be detailed on the webpages as well as our monthly Transport and Highways e-newsletter.

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