Exhibition for Blackwater-Farnborough roadworksBy Laura Nightingale
March 22, 2013
A PUBLIC exhibition will be held to discuss a water main project that will close a central route from Blackwater to Farnborough for nine months.
This May, South East Water want to install a 1.9km pipe in Fernhill Road, Blackwater, to improve services to the area.
The announcement for the works immediately brought concern to some residents as the busy road is not only a main link between the two towns but is also home to Hawley Place School.
The utility company is holding a drop-in session on March 26 at Hawley Memorial Hall, Hawley.
This will give residents an opportunity to talk about accessing the area during the road works.
Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to raise questions with South East Water before the works start.
James Smith, delivery manager at South East Water, said: “We will listen to all of the feedback from the meeting and use it to help finalise our plans and hopefully minimise our impact on the community.
“We do appreciate that this is a big deal for the area as the 1.9km-long main will take approximately nine months to install.
“Keeping the public and our workforce safe during construction will also mean that temporary road closures and traffic lights will have to be put in place.
“However, this essential £513,000 investment will make sure that we can continue to supply top quality tap water to the growing population for years to come.
“Giving us more capacity to move water to places of high demand, we firmly believe that the long term benefits will outweigh any short term disruption.”
Construction will take place from the junction with Mayfield Road and move north to just past the entrance with Hawley Place School.
Pedestrians and motorists can expect temporary traffic lights, road closures and potentially lane closures or one-way systems during the project.
Short sections of the road will be closed at any one time and space will be allocated for pedestrians.
Bus passengers would not be affected as the area’s main bus route runs along Hawley Lane.
Blackwater commuter and county and town councillor, Adrian Collett, said he would attend the exhibition next week to find out more about the water works.
He said after the ‘Reading Road saga’ last year, when the utility company encountered faults during its water mains operation in Yateley, people were fearful of a repeat performance.
At the installation of the 1.4km water main along Reading Road, Yateley, final tests showed small leaks which delayed the nine-month scheme’s completion.
The current plan for Blackwater is to start work towards the end of May but this is subject to change.
South East Water has written to residents in and around Fernhill Road informing them of the project.
Diversion routes will be clearly displayed and are currently being drawn up with the help of Hampshire County Council highways department.
The public exhibition will be open to all and takes place between 4pm and 7pm.