Latest update 
Following the collapse of a substantial retaining wall that supported the highway, there is a road closure on Soot Hill in Northwich. 
Progress to date includes: 
• Scottish Power has almost completed work to divert their high voltage live cables to a new location away from the landslip. At the same time, United Utilities Water worked on one of their cast iron water mains. Temporary traffic signals were needed while these works were carried out. 
• Following this, BT will be coming in to divert their cabling - which is scheduled for early November. 
All these advance works have to carried out before any repairs to the landslip area. 
 
Previous activity at the site 
Ground penetrating radar surveys have now been completed, along with ground investigation works. The investigations required bore holes to be drilled through the road surface into the ground below, to a depth of 20 metres, to find out what material was underneath the site. 
 
Before that residents and businesses saw activity at the site as work started to secure the high voltage cabling, power supply and other piping in the area, including: 
 
Anchor blocks were installed at either side of the collapsed section to create a temporary cable bridge for the high voltage cables that were hanging in the void. 
Generators were on site ready for the power to the hanging cables to be switched off - a generator for each of the substations supplied by the existing cable provided power during this phase of the works. 
Cranes removed the large concrete slabs that were previously either side of the collapsed section. 
It is not currently safe to access the site due to the risk of further collapse material falling onto the site. 
 
To protect the public, the Council has erected signage around the affected area, asking people not approach the site. 
 
The Council has acted quickly to assess what repairs are needed. 
 
3D laser scan technology has been used to produce plans of the site in order to help our engineers formulate a plan to stabilize it. 
 
Lydett Lane, Barnton - new experimental one-way system 
An experimental one-way system on Lydyett Lane from Hayes Drive junction through to the junction with Broadway (in a south-westerly direction) has been introduced from 26 April 2022 for up to 18 months. 
 
The traffic situation in Barnton has been closely monitored to see the impact on traffic flows and increased road safety concerns. 
 
Two-way traffic on Lydyett Lane has been a concern for some time, prior to the closure of Soot Hill. There are limited passing places, there are also pedestrian safety concerns as vehicles are currently driving onto the footways to avoid oncoming traffic. A decision will be made by CW&C council at the end of this period, whether it would become a permanent measure. 
 
Stabilisation and further analysis 
The process for repairs is a complex one that requires a careful approach to repair the damage and ensure the safety of those undertaking the works and those adjacent to the site. 
 
Power supply 
Work will need to take place around the existing power cables. Generators will be needed by Scottish Power to provide power to substations in the area to allow the cables to be switched off. Once the cables are supported and protected, they will be switched back on. This initial work will take a number of weeks to implement and will start as soon as all of the plans are in place. 
 
Once these initial works are implemented the site will be safe enough to access for the investigation team to pinpoint the cause of the land slip. 
 
At the same time, SPEN will be installing new cables on the other side of the road to allow for the ultimate removal of the cables that are currently within the failed section. 
 
Design work will start after the investigation into the cause of the collapse has concluded. 
 
These investigations will inform the ultimate repair, which will be the subject of a further report. 
 
The extent and duration of the work will depend on the findings of the investigation team. 
 
Timescales 
Due to complex, difficult, and costly nature of the repairs needed, it is anticipated the road will remain closed for at least a further 12 months.  
Response to the land slip is being progressed as promptly as possible. 
 
Further updates will be detailed on CW&C webpages as well as CW&C monthly Transport and Highways e-newsletter. 
 
 
 
 
Tagged as: SOOT HILL
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