Northumberland County Council’s Highways and Sustainable Transport teams have made re-opening the A696 road in the Otterburn area their top priority, after its closure due to a lorry overturning while carrying an abnormal load.
The Council has overseen a detailed recovery operation which resulted in the load being removed from the A696 on Thursday, 31 May. Resurfacing work to get the road in a safe condition and to allow its re-opening was started at lunchtime today (Friday, 1 June 2012) and is now complete, the road has reopened at 5pm today.
The two companies responsible for transporting the abnormal load, Barr Construction and Vestas have worked alongside the County Council to pull out all the stops and get the road cleared as soon as practically possible.
Within hours of the incident the Council, Vestas and Barr Construction began to enact a comprehensive plan of action to ensure the swift recovery of the load from the field. The recovery operation was complicated by the necessity to build two large stone platforms in order to support the cranes required to initiate the lift. Barrasford Quarry supplied the 700 tonnes of stone required for the platforms and Vestas and Barr Construction co-ordinated the delivery, installation and removal of the platforms upon completion of the lift. McNally Crane Hire provided the cranes
Mike Scott, head of sustainable transport at Northumberland County Council said “The A696 was given our top priority as we were conscious this is an important County road which is used by residents, visitors and businesses in the Otterburn area and much further afield. Whilst we appreciated that the closure of a rural road causes disruption, it was necessary due to the complex recovery procedure and would like to thank everyone for their patience. It was particularly important to us to have the carriageway open for the weekend and my staff along with those of Barr and Vestas, have made a great effort to ensure this has happened.”