A CHALLENGING engineering scheme in Porlock to resurface one of the steepest hills in the country is due to start in the coming week.
The A39 at Porlock Hill is reportedly the steepest A road in England and has a gradient of one-in-four (25 per cent) in places.
As part of Somerset County Council’s planned maintenance programme, roadworks will start next week for two weeks, laying a new modern road surface with a high skid resistance along the length of the hill.
The road will be fully closed day and night during the week from Monday (March 6), will reopen for the weekend and will then be closed from 7.30am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday for completion of the works.
Specialist equipment and techniques will be required including use of an integrated paver and all-terrain forklift with tracks.
Temporary safety barriers will also be in place during the works to safeguard the work zone and nearby properties.
The road will be fully closed in the first week due to the need for safety barriers and because a temporary road surface would not be suitable due to the gradient.
There will be a lengthy diversion route in place from Dunster, but drivers can also use the nearby private toll road.
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “As with any diversion, this is advisory and drivers are free to use their own judgement and local knowledge to seek their own alternatives, which may include using the nearby toll road which is a private road.”