Roadworks to repair culvert ‘in danger of collapse’ completely block Barkway High Street

The work has completely blocked High Street in Barkway.

The work has completely blocked High Street in Barkway. - Credit: Archant

The Barkway community awoke to a portion of High Street being completely blocked by roadworks yesterday, which were in place to repair a damaged culvert “in danger of collapse”.

The road is due to be blocked for two weeks, causing significant disruption to motorists and village

The road is due to be blocked for two weeks, causing significant disruption to motorists and villagers. - Credit: Archant

The parish council said they intially weren’t told that the road – the main route through the village – would be completely blocked by the roadworks.

Parish councillor Graham Swann told the Crow: “I have been in touch with Hertfordshire County Council yesterday and they expect the works to last two weeks.

“The reason for the sudden closure is that the culvert under the road was in danger of collapse if immediate work was not carried out.

“They expect the work to take about two weeks, about one week for repairs and just under a week for the concrete to cure.

Repair work to a damaged culvert has blocked Barkway High Street.

Repair work to a damaged culvert has blocked Barkway High Street. - Credit: Archant


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“The diversion signs for the lorries and cars have been set up to use the same classification of road as they would use if coming through the village.

“HCC and Barkway Parish Council would like to thank the residents for their patience while this important work is carried out.”

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The incident echoes another in the village three years ago when roadworks happened in the same place to repair the culvert – a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road – which is believed to have intially been damaged by workers laying cables on behalf of the utility companies in 2013.

Members of the community said at the time that the diversion caused a great deal of disruption and confusion for motorists.

Nick White, who lives in neighbouring Barley, said road closure signs related to the Barkway roadworks at the edge of his village mean it could have a knock-on effect for them too.

He told the Crow: “I’m annoyed that the road closed sign is not stating where the problem is – it’s stopping people going into the Chequers pub, and other local businesses need the trade.

“I am also worried that I can’t see how emergency vehicles would get through.

“After what happened in 2014 it feels like history is repeating itself – deja vu all over again.”

A Herts County Council spokesman said: “We appreciate that these works will cause some disruption and thank all road users for their patience.

“This was an emergency closure to enable the repair of a damaged culvert which is undermining the carriageway.

“As the works were unplanned it was not possible to give advance notice.

“Signage is in place both for the closure and for the diversion. The work is expected to be completed by the end of next week.”

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