Trouble beneath the Connaught cobbles

THERE’S light at the end of the drain for the historic cobbles of Connaught Square.

Repairs being made to Connaught Square, where a broken pipe caused an underground wall to collapse.
Repairs being made to Connaught Square, where a broken pipe caused an underground wall to collapse.

THERE’S light at the end of the drain for the historic cobbles of Connaught Square.

Early findings from CCTV images taken by Guernsey specialists Drainforce have revealed a hole in the narrow Victorian clay gully pipe at the south side of the square, close to the small lane that leads to the fire station.

Cobbles collapsed after water collected behind a brick wall in one of two underground chambers, causing the lower part of the wall to collapse into the void.

The clay pipe had collected run-off surface water, which because of the damaged area had been escaping through the collapsed section.

States Engineer Julie Turner said the escaped water had created its own course.

The States Works Department team has now fixed the pipe.

The CCTV footage, which is still being analysed in detail, has also pointed to more serious drainage problems in the square, which is home to the Island Hall.

‘The full survey results are awaited, but on-site work indicated open joints and settlement in the 450mm-diameter brick culvert, which is 1.5 metres deep through the length of the square,’ Ms Turner said.

‘This major pipe is more difficult to repair or replace, being deeper, large in diameter and of brick construction, and with the water level at the time of the survey at half of the pipe depth.’

She explained that tree roots were also penetrating the next section of 900mm diameter brick culvert that runs though the grounds of the Island Hall.

Early indications from the survey suggest that water is also pooling due to the settlement of pipes in front of the hall’s gate and fence.

Drivers are being asked to avoid using the narrow St Martins Lane to help preserve the damaged footpath.

*

The island is looking forward to five cruise ship visits over the spring and summer.

The Ode to Spring voyage aboard the 100-passenger Island Sky is scheduled to call in on Tuesday 30 April and the same ship’s Spring in the Isles cruise is pencilled in for a 9 May arrival.

On 5 June, the 4,200-ton ship will return. On the same day, the Quest for Adventure will also dock.

The 4,077-ton Corinthian is due on 15 August with 100 passengers for an afternoon visit.