Work began this week to remove vegetation from the main entrance to Snow Hill carpark. The area is overgrown with bushes and trees which are rooted in the rockface. It has been identified as a risk in a report which was commissioned after a large rockfall in February 2008.
The report, produced by engineering consultants Frederick Sherrell Ltd, surveyed the rocks around Fort Regent and prioritised areas of high risk.
This initial survey found the vegetation was a concern because of the tree roots’ encroachment into the rock. The work currently underway will allow a more detailed survey of the clean rockfaces, which will inform the parameters of any further work that is needed.
Geomarine is carrying out the work and has been liaising with Transport and Technical Services and the Parish of St Helier on timings.
The Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Eddie Noel, said “It is unfortunate that this work will involve the felling of some trees, but if the roots are allowed to remain they could eventually split the rockface from the base layer.
“This could cause a landslide, bringing down rock and vegetation. We have decided to fix the problem now to safeguard the general public and car park users.”
The work is due to take two weeks. The vegetation will be removed, the rockface cleaned up and a detailed inspection completed for a report and recommendations on follow up work.
Depending on what is uncovered the area may need to be cordoned off for a longer period. Members of the public will be made fully aware of this as works progress.
Deputy Noel added “There will be some parking spaces lost temporarily where the cliff face is being cleared. This has been agreed with TTS Car Park Division and we are working closely with them to mitigate any greater disruption to motorists.”
Access to the carpark will remain two-way, but will be moved eastward to accommodate the contractors. The area will be sign posted, coned and fenced off to ensure public safety.