Leak leads to hole lot of disruption

FELIXSTOWE'S main thoroughfare from the town to the seafront could be closed for up to a month.

Richard Cornwell

FELIXSTOWE'S main thoroughfare from the town to the seafront could be closed for up to a month.

Until Anglian Water engineers begin work on repairing the mysterious hole which has appeared in the middle of Bent Hill they will not know how long the job will take.

They are hoping it will be only one week but officials say it could take a month if the whole street needs excavating.

AW spokesman Dan Baker said it appeared the five feet deep hole had been caused by a leak from a water pipe which had then eroded material away, causing the road surface to cave in.

“The indications are that it is a leak at a collar joint where two pipes are joined together and that is obviously going to take a bit of sorting out,” he said.

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“If that is the case then we are pretty confident we can carry out a procedure to re-line the collar and seal it again and this work should take about a week.

“However, if we need to carry out a full-scale excavation to replace a pipe it will take a month.

“We are doing the work as soon as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience it is causing.”

In the meantime, steep and winding Bent Hill - which is earmarked for a shared pedestrian and vehicle scheme to try to cut traffic using it - is getting a taste of pedestrianisation.

Diversions have been set up with traffic being sent via Wolsey Gardens and Convalescent Hill.

It is the third time such an incident has happened in the town in the past two years.

St Andrew's Road and Gainsborough Road were both closed for a fortnight after holes suddenly appeared in their surfaces.

In both cases, a water pipe had sprung a leak and then over time the water had gradually washed away the soil around it.

Is Bent Hill better as a traffic-free zone? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk