Half of the Gorrell Tank car park in Whitstable is open again – nearly a week ahead of schedule.
Southern Water operates the stormwater tank beneath the car park and had to carry out emergency repairs, forcing the closure of the city council-run car park on the surface.
It was initially thought half of it could open by 11 June, but Southern Water’s contractor brought in extra staff over the weekend to get it open six days early.
The aim is to have the car park fully open by the end of June.
Efforts will now turn to the remaining half of the car park, with Southern Water aiming to finish the repairs to the temporary supports and reopen the whole thing by the end of June.
Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, said: “We’re grateful to Southern Water for pulling out all the stops to get half of the tank open so quickly.
“It’s the town’s largest car park and is very important, particularly in the summer months when Whitstable is so busy.
“We look forward to the swift completion of the remaining work and a return to a fully operational car park.”
Council staff met Southern Water representatives at the site last Tuesday to talk about the longer term issues. Monthly meetings will now take place between the two organisations.
Southern Water’s project manager Jonathan Yates added: “We’ve been working hard to complete the urgent work and, with the repairs to the western side of the tank virtually complete, we’re pleased to now be in a position to reopen part of the car park well ahead of schedule.
“We’re continuing with our work on the rest of the car park and we’re grateful for the community’s understanding while we carry out this essential work.”