Fat’s all folks: sewer work in Oxford city centre completed

Temporary traffic lights are taken away, city centre roads are reopened and traffic gets back to normal after the fatberg was finally cleared yesterday   Picture: OX66541 Ed Nix

Temporary traffic lights are taken away, city centre roads are reopened and traffic gets back to normal after the fatberg was finally cleared yesterday Picture: OX66541 Ed Nix Buy this photo

First published in News

THE traffic nightmare suffered by drivers this week is coming to an end as two city centre roads are reopened ahead of schedule.

Park End Street, which had been closed since Monday for sewer repairs, reopened yesterday, while Jericho’s Walton Street – shut while engineers investigated a hole in the road – will reopen this afternoon.

Thames Water engineers completed work on Thursday to remove a mass of fat and other waste – dubbed a ‘fatberg’ – that had caused a partial collapse of the sewer in Park End Street.

The £60,000 repairs had been expected to last two weeks but the company managed to complete it in half that time and barriers were removed yesterday.

Workmen have also been repairing the Walton Street hole, which appeared at the southern end of the street on Sunday.

The road hs been closed both ways between Beaumont Street and Worcester Place since Wednesday while Oxfordshire County Council investigated the cause of the damage.

It originally said the road would not open until Monday.

The council said the hole was due to erosion below the surface and repair work progressed much quicker than expected.

County councillor for Jericho and Osney division Susanna Pressel said: “I feel very sorry for all the people who were stuck in traffic jams as a result of this small hole.

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“It’s really not good enough to have this busy section of road partially and then completely closed for almost a week.

“The hole was small, but it was very deep – it was a bit worrying to see that there is just a thin layer of Tarmac covering a large, hollow space.”

Earlier in the week, Oxford’s roads were brought to a standstill as drivers reported long delays on Botley Road, with traffic stretching back to the A34, and in Abingdon Road, Woodstock Road and Banbury Road.

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