Douglas Promenade work to resume next week

Work on a £25m scheme to refurbish Douglas Promenade will resume on Monday after coronavirus restrictions were eased on the Isle of Man.

Infrastructure minister Ray Harmer said his department was looking to “pick up the slack” and aimed to complete the project by Easter next year.

The scheme, which has suffered delays, was due to finish in August 2021.

The deadline has moved forward as limits on the location of work over the summer can be lifted, Mr Harmer said.

The promenade project was originally scheduled for completion in October 2020 but has been beset by delays due to issues replacing tram tracks and a lack of plans for some services under the road surface.

A revised schedule, which was published in December, committed to no work on the landward side of Loch Promenade, where there are many hotels, between May and September to avoid disruption to businesses.

Mr Harmer said the closure of most seafront firms due to measures introduced to limit the spread of coronavirus on the island allowed for “flexibility that we would have never dreamed of”.

He added that the restriction on landward works was “not an issue” and the promenade could be made one-way or shut completely “for parts of the project”.

Non-essential construction on the island resumed on 24 April after a month-long hiatus due to the pandemic.

There have been 315 positive cases of the virus on the Isle of Man and 21 people have died after contracting it.

Under measures brought in as a response to the pandemic, the island’s borders have been closed and non-essential shops shut since 27 March.

Restaurants and cafes were also closed but they can offer take-away and delivery services.

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