BELGRAVE Road in Ventnor will remain closed for the foreseeable future, and at least one property has been evacuated as the road stands on the brink of collapse.

The County Press has been covering the story since last Thursday, when the wall running alongside the road partially collapsed, causing the carriageway to crack open and earth to spill out from behind the wall.

Since then, the extent of the damage has worsened considerably and the road has been closed to all traffic and pedestrians.

This is how the situation unfolded:

Thursday, January 16

A huge crack opened up in the road, and temporary closures were quickly put in place.

Ventnor resident William Nixon was heading to work when he saw what had happened, and he and a local carpenter blocked the road — warning drivers it was not safe — until Island Roads contractors arrived a the scene.

Read more: Huge crack opens up in Ventnor road — partial collapse causes landslip

Friday, January 17

The Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads released a statement saying the road would remain closed for the foreseeable future and the supporting wall was at significant risk of failure.

Temporary barriers were still in place, closing off vehicular access to the affected part of the road, and residents were asked to move their cars. Pedestrians were still able to use the road.

Barriers were also placed in Esplanade Road, below the affected area, as a precaution against falling materials.

The statement said: "While the cause of the incident is still to be determined, our action in the short-term is to monitor the ongoing deterioration of the situation.

"Engineers are assessing safe methods for accessing this area and removing the failed section in a manner that does not increase the risk to adjacent infrastructure such as gas and water.

"Once the immediate risk of failure is resolved, either by intervention or by natural deterioration of the failure area, our attention will move to investigating the longer-term solution for the repair of this section of road and the surrounding structures.

"It is therefore inevitable, to ensure the ongoing safety of residents, that this section of road will need to remain closed for the foreseeable future."

Read more: Belgrave Road in Ventnor to remain closed for foreseeable future say Isle of Wight Council

Sunday, January 19

A Belgrave Road property was evacuated as the condition of the road continued to deteriorate, and steel fencing was erected to keep people away.

Island Roads said: "In response to both continued movement of the wall, and because people have entered the site over the weekend, we are today reinforcing the road closure by erecting steel fencing.

"With the Isle of Wight Council, we will take whatever measures are necessary in the interests of public safety as the wall remains in danger of further collapse.

"As part of this safety-first approach, we have advised the council to make arrangements for the evacuation of an occupied property that could be affected.

"In the interest of safety, we would ask members of the public to respect the road closure in place."

Read more: Belgrave Road in Ventnor on brink of collapse

Read more: Pictures show extent of collapse at Belgrave Road in Ventnor

Tuesday, January 21

The Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads said no action would be taken to repair Belgrave Road until the ground movement stabilises.

In a joint statement, they said it was not practical to take any steps to intervene at this stage.

It said: "We need to wait for the movement to stabilise before we can undertake more detailed investigations on site and determine possible solutions.

"Island Roads staff remain on site around the clock to monitor developments and, together with the Isle of Wight Council, we will take whatever measures are necessary in the interests of public safety while the wall remains in danger of further collapse."

Read more: No action to fix Belgrave Road until ground movement stabilises — update issued today

Wednesday, January 22

County Press reporter Liam Chorley spoke to Belgrave Road residents about the situation.

One said he feared it would be another Undercliff Drive, which has never reopened to traffic following the landslip.

Morris Fletcher said: "If they're waiting for cliff movement to finish, they'll be waiting forever. "Movement's never finished in Ventnor."

The crack in the road had widened considerably, and a builder working on a house in the road said: "I can't believe how much it's changed, we've watched it sink daily."

Read more: 'We've watched it sink daily' — residents fear Belgrave Road will never reopen

Anyone with questions or concerns about the road can contact Island Roads on 822440 or by email at info@islandroads.com

Saturday, January 25

The Isle of Wight Council has made an update about the state of Belgrave Road.

The council said: "There has been no significant change to the movement of the wall in the past 48 hours or any additional threat to properties in the affected area since the weekend, although we are continuing to monitor the situation around the clock.

"Our priority continues to be the safety of residents and while it remains unsafe and impractical for us to intervene substantially onsite until the situation has stabilised, we have assessed the site area and are planning to take steps to remove any loose material from the site that we can safely access and easily remove, using specially trained, professional roped access teams.

"Although these steps will not stop any wall movement, they will help to remove some of the loose pieces of material that are not contributing to the stability of the wall, preventing them from falling onto the area below.

"We are also progressing well with our arrangement to install a safety netting system over the area which is also intended to reduce the risk of falling debris should further movement of the wall occur in the coming days and weeks.

"We anticipate this work taking place through this weekend to help minimise the effects of the changing weather condition expected soon."

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