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Home Medway News Article
Work costing £69,000 has begun today (Monday) to remove a huge “ski jump” which has risen almost 3ft out of the pavement.
Shoppers were flummoxed earlier this year when the earth rumbled upwards in Strood town centre.
It had to be fenced off as it kept rising and rising – complete with weeds between the pavement cracks.
It soon appeared the culprit was a subway in Commercial Road which was filled in several years ago.
Workers used polystyrene blocks to fill the subway, and when water got in it is thought they expanded, pushing up the rest of the pavement.
The firm which did the original work no longer exists, so the money will have to come from taxpayers.
Retired BP engineer Phil Jenner, of Sealand Court, Rochester, was one of the first people to raise the problem.
Medway Council blamed this year’s wet weather but the 67-year-old thinks water from the River Medway got into the subway due to poor design work.
“I definitely think it was botched somehow,” he said, adding: “I doubt it will cost as little as £69,000. You are talking three to five men with plant and materials.”
Strood North councillor Jane Chitty (Con) said: “It looks quite nasty and needs dealing with.”
Ward colleague Cllr Stephen Hubbard (Lab) added: “I raised it after Christmas but they waited to do the works until after the start of the financial year.
“If you walk around the area at high tide you realise it’s below the water table. I think they just did it cheaply.
“It’s a lot of cash for something that should’ve been done right the first time.”
The council has denied the materials were cheap.
A spokesman said using polystyrene blocks was standard practice, and the blocks in this case met British standards.
But Cllr Hubbard joked: “Maybe they should just leave it for skateboarders.”
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