Essential works required at Brockholes Brow
10 May 2022
One of Lancashire's main A-roads is due to be closed over the summer for vital work to stabilise an embankment.
The closure of the A59 at Brockholes Brow will have a major impact on access to and from the east of Preston with this route being a key link to East Lancashire and beyond, as well as travel north or south via the M6 motorway.
A lane has been closed on the A59 at Brockholes Brow since March 2021 when a small landslip occurred on a steep wooded embankment next to the road, resulting in part of the slope encroaching onto the road.
Monitoring over the past six months has found that the embankment is continuing to move at a rate of around 10cm a month, with intervention being urgently needed to stabilise it and restore the full width of the road and pavement.
Work is scheduled to begin on Monday 25 July to stop the embankment from moving and mitigate the risk of a bigger landslip occurring if left in its current state.
It is expected to take up to seven weeks, with the A59 at Brockholes Brow needing to be fully closed in both directions for all vehicles for safety and to allow access for the heavy machinery needed.
Pedestrian access via the footpath may be temporarily closed at times for health and safety reasons.
The scheme has been scheduled during the school holidays when traffic levels are lower to minimise disruption as much as possible, and work will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to minimise the duration of the closure.
Preston City Council owns the embankment where the landslip has occurred, and has engaged Lancashire County Council as the highways authority for the area to design a solution and carry out the work.
The project involves:
- Installing large sheet metal piles as a retaining structure along a 40-metre length of the embankment
- Building a 1.2m high retaining wall along the same length
- Installing drainage to help protect the embankment from wet weather in the future
- Removing excess material from the bottom of the slope to restore the full width of the road and pavement
- Landscaping work and planting species native to the existing woodland
- Removing the current lane closure and restoring the 40mph speed limit
While the road is closed the County Council is also planning a range of other routine highway maintenance in the vicinity to avoid the need for further lane closures in future and minimise the overall level of disruption.
Additional Routine Highway Maintenance
The list below is additional work currently planned to take place during the Brockholes closure.
- Cleaning drains and resetting their covers
- Fixing potholes
- Renewing high reflectivity road markings
- Fully replacing six streetlights with new columns and lanterns
- Renewing the lanterns on other streetlights
- Replacing the lid on a broken manhole at the bottom of the hill
- Cleaning road signs
- Surveying roadside trees and carrying out any maintenance needed.
Early consultation on the proposed closure has already taken place with emergency services and National Highways, who are responsible for the M6 motorway, and a notice has recently been posted on Lancashire County Council's website.
Residents in the vicinity are due to receive a letter very shortly, and Preston City Council is currently in the process of visiting local businesses to inform them of the situation.
Adrian Phillips, Chief Executive at Preston City Council, said:
"It's vital that we carry out this work to safeguard the A59 by stabilising the embankment on Brockholes Brow, and unfortunately the only way to do this is to fully close the road due to the scale of the work which is needed.
The embankment is still moving towards the road following the landslip which occurred in 2021 and, without this scheme to stabilise it and retain the banking, the situation would keep getting worse until there would be no option but to close the road for safety anyway.
This will clearly be very disruptive, particularly for people who use this route regularly, local businesses, and those who live nearby, and we're very sorry for the impact this will have on them, however we'll be making all efforts to minimise this by working around the clock to get the road reopened as soon as we can.
We are in the process of visiting local businesses, and residents in the immediate area should receive a letter in the next few days. While we can't do anything about the need to close the road, we will do our best to answer any queries people may have and respond to any issues people may want to raise."
Signs will be put up on the approaches to Brockholes Brow from early June to inform passing motorists of the closure.
A signed diversion suitable for all vehicles will be put in place when the work starts via Blackpool Road and Garstang Road for M6 Eastbound traffic, via New Hall Lane, London Road, Victoria Road, Church Brow and Cuerdale Lane for Blackburn Eastbound traffic and via Cuerdale Lane, Church Brow, Victoria Road, London Road and New Hall Lane for Preston Westbound traffic.
- Details about the road closure and diversion routes see Brockholes Brow, road closure overview (PDF) [864KB]
- Pedestrian access will be not be available as normal via the footpath during some parts of the works.