The final phase of work to stabilise a Cornish road which has been closed since a landslip claimed a woman’s life will get under way next week.
Susan Norman, 68, died in her house at Sandplace Road in Looe after it collapsed following torrential rain on March 22.
Busy adjacent St Martin’s Road has also been shut as fears about the stability of the land persisted.
However, Cornwall Council said a final 18 week project will start on March 3 which will stabilise the area and , when complete, will see the road reopened.
Cornwall councillor Edwina Hannaford, who represents the Looe West, Lansallos and Lanteglos electoral division, said the delays to the scheme were disappointing but inevitable.
“It is good to see that works are finally starting on St Martin’s Road” she said
“While I am disappointed at the length of time it has taken to get to this point, I recognise that the delays have, in part, been caused by the three months of appalling weather and the necessary detailed investigation which has been carried out by the Police and Health and Safety Executive.“
“It is vital for local residents and businesses in Looe and the surrounding areas that the scheme is now completed as quickly as possible and I will be working with council officers to ensure that this happens”.
The works will include using soil nails to stabilise the slope supporting St Martin’s Road, constructing a facing and parapet at the site of Veronica, the bungalow where Mrs Norman lived, and installing raised kerbs along the edge of the road.
They are due to be completed by the beginning of July.
Bert Biscoe, the council’s cabinet member for transport and waste, said the complex nature of the engineering works meant that St Martin’s Road would need to be closed during the entire period to ensure the safety of members of the public and contractors.
“This final stage will inevitably cause some disruption to residents and local businesses,” he said.
“We will do everything we can to minimise this.
“The scheme is expected to take 18 weeks to complete. Cornwall Council and its contractor and partners will try their best to complete the works ahead of schedule.”
Mr Biscoe said that in the meantime, a package of supporting measures would be put in place which had been agreed with the local Cornwall councillors members and Looe Town Council.
He said they would all be working with Visit Cornwall to spread the message that Looe was very much open for business.
“The short notice of this closure will impact on local residents and businesses who will have had little time to plan for alternatives in their routines and work life” said Cornwall councillor Armand Toms, who represents the Looe East Division.
“Most of the people who I have spoken to want the works completed quickly and for the town to get back to normality.
“I don't believe that there would ever be a right time for these works that will cater for everyone.”
St Martin’s Road will be closed along some of its length, although the Barclay House Hotel will remain fully accessible and arrangements will be made to ensure access for local residents and to the Woodlands Guest House.
A liaison officer will be appointed by the council to act as a first point of contact for local residents and businesses during the works.
The council said it would be doing its best to ensure that access to and from Looe is made as easy as possible.
A drop in session to inform local residents and businesses about the proposals will be held on Friday February 28 between 2pm and 7pm at the Millpool Centre in Looe.