ONE of the largest engineering projects in Scarborough’s recent history is expected to begin within months.
Yorkshire Water has formally submitted plans to install a huge new storage chamber under Marine Drive in a bid to improve bathing water quality and fall into line with new European rules.
The company hope that the two-year programme, which will see Marine Drive either partially or fully shut to motorists for the duration of the work at Toll House Pumping Station, will be underway by May.
A planning application which has been submitted to Scarborough Council is expected to get the green light by mid-January.
Castle Ward councillor Janet Jefferson, who has set up a liaison group for traders in both the North Bay and South Bay to discuss the project, said: “This is an absolutely massive programme of work. It’s probably equal to the sea defences in terms of the size of the project.
“I do have concerns, particularly about the flow of traffic and how we are going link the North Bay to the South Bay but I think we should remain positive and focus on the benefits it will bring in the future.
“The quality of our seawater is of paramount importance to Scarborough and although this will cause upheaval, I’m sure our millions of visitors will understand.
“Yorkshire Water have done a lot of preparation and we are very lucky that they are investing so much money in Scarborough.”
The concrete sewer overflow and storm water pumping station which Yorkshire Water plan to install in Marine Drive will have a capacity of 4,000 cubic metres in a shaft with a diameter of 20 metres.
Two large division chambers will also be built at either side of the shaft. The new structures will be connected with pipework ahead of the predicted completion date of summer 2014.
Permission to build a new above-ground pumping station building, a wall to protect workers from rocks falling from cliffs and nine new car parking spaces has also been applied for.
It is understood that contractors will work around the clock to ensure that the project is finished on time.
During next winter, Marine Drive will be shut to motorists while in the summer, a one-way system, which allows traffic to travel from the South Bay to North Bay, will be installed.
A temporary roundabout will be constructed at the start of the works to allow traffic travelling from the North Bay in the direction of the South Bay to turn around.
The revised Bathing Water Directive is due to come into force in 2015, and Yorkshire Water hope Yorkshire’s beaches will be classed in the top category for seawater quality.
Work is also to be carried out at Wheatcroft Pumping Station, the Corner Cafe combined sewer overflow, Scalby Mills Pumping Station, the Scalby Mills pipeline and Scarborough Wastewater Treatment Works.
A three metre wide pathway in Marine Drive will remain open to pedestrians throughout the project.