Roman remains revealed as Exeter High Street work finished two weeks early
Work to address persistent drainage and subsidence problems in Exeter’s High Street, between Mountain Warehouse/Martins Lane and Broadgate, has been completed almost two weeks ahead of schedule, Devon County Council has announced.
The problem, the cause of the subsidence it appears, was a failure of the street's drainage and poor condition of a 4" water main running through the High Street.
The work, which started on 16 January, has included drainage, footway and road works. Wales and West Utilities have also replaced a gas main from Broadgate to Burger King.
In addition to rebuilding the road, new gullies and pipework have been installed along the stretch from Queen Street to Broadgate. The road has also been widened in some areas to improve access for buses and delivery vehicles.
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Whilst the High Street has been closed to vehicles, work has also been undertaken to repair the footway and replace ‘rocking’ slabs.
During the extensive excavations required for the drainage improvements, a number of interesting archaeological finds have been revealed, including medieval steps adjacent to Waterstones, remains of medieval walls outside Mountain Warehouse and the Guildhall, and various pieces of roman pottery throughout the site.
All ‘finds’ have been logged by Cotswold Archaeology, with a report to be submitted to Exeter City Council and English Heritage.
The medieval wall outside Mountain Warehouse is thought to run the length of the High Street, and end at a position at the top of Fore Street at the site of a medieval fountain.
With work now complete, bus services will return to normal from Saturday 16 March.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Transportation said:
"I want to congratulate South West Highways for completing the High Street works ahead of schedule. Thanks are due to the public, businesses and Stagecoach for their patience whilst we’ve delivered these important works.”
John Harvey, Exeter City Centre Manager, said:
“It’s fantastic that this work has been delivered ahead of schedule, allowing the High Street to return to normality before the important Easter period.
"I also want to thank local businesses for their patience and understanding while the works have been delivered.
"Our recent track record on managing major utility works in the City Centre has been an exemplary one, and I’m delighted that with this recent High Street closure, we’ve had more of the same."