Bargates fully reopens more than a month ahead of schedule

A town centre road in Christchurch has fully reopened to traffic this week, after Wessex Water successfully completed a major project to repair a deep-lying collapsed sewer five weeks ahead of schedule.


A short section of one lane of Bargates was shut off to through traffic in January, while the repairs took place on a short stretch of the road close to the Fountain Roundabout.

The repair project was originally expected to finish on Friday, 22 April, but by working seven days a week to complete the work, Wessex Water teams ensured the road could fully reopen well inside the original schedule.

The collapsed sewer was more than five metres below ground but despite the substantial nature of the repair, Wessex Water restricted the impact on the road to a lane closure in place between Stour Road and Fountain Way and a diversion from the junction of Stour Road at the northern end of Bargates in place via Stour Road and Barrack Road.

Access was retained for customers and deliveries to businesses on Bargates from the north and for road users exiting the Fountain roundabout in the south, while the on-street parking further up Bargates was unaffected.

The company had initially carried out an emergency repair on the collapsed sewer last year, laying temporary pipework to ensure sewerage services were maintained for residents and businesses on the road. Wessex Water also worked with business owners on Bargates to ensure the message that they remained open for business throughout the project was spread throughout the area via and advertisements in the local media.

Wessex Water project manager Paul Musselwhite: “We’re very pleased to have been able to complete this work well ahead of schedule and have to thank our Wessex Water team that has worked so hard seven days a week for the last couple of months to get it finished.

"This was a major project to repair a collapsed sewer that was lying deep in the road, but we worked hard to ensure the impact on local people was kept to a minimum as much as possible and that businesses did not suffer adverse effects for their customers and deliveries.

"We thank them for their patience, understanding and co-operation while this essential repair took place and for BCP Council for their support while the project progressed."

Richard Pearson, Transport Network Manager for BCP Council, said: “I am very pleased that this essential work has been completed sooner than expected and traffic can return to normal in this area.

"Thank you to the residents for their patience and understanding and well done to the team at Wessex Water for progressing and completing this complex and challenging work sooner than expected and ensuring the sewers in this area continue to flow."