Work is due to begin on an £800.000 scheme to resurface 2.5 miles of the A686 at Meathaw Hill, near Alston, on 1st September.
Cumbria County Council has announced that resurfacing is estimated to take five weeks to complete and the road will be closed fully, with access for residents, businesses, emergency vehicles and school buses, and a diversion will be in place for all other traffic.
The work will be carried out from the C3039 junction at Leadgate to the A689 Brampton junction, next to the war memorial.
Local access from Alston to Leadgate will be maintained until the last stage of the work.
The authority has agreed some weekend work with the contractor and plans are in place to maximise the amount of material laid each day so the work can be completed quickly.
It follows a recent drainage improvement project.
Claire Driver, county councillor for Alston and East Fellside, said: “I welcome this next stage of investment into our road network and although it will cause some disruption, the improvements will undoubtedly be appreciated in the long run.
“By working together with the local community, we will ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and that businesses in Alston are actively promoted as remaining open to visitors.”
Work will also be carried out on the top of Front Street, for about five days, to replace patches of cobbles and Tarmac with a full Tarmac surface. The council said it was a temporary measure while it continued to look for funding for a second phase of reinstating the cobbles.
Dave Liquorice, of Save Alston Front Street, said: “It’s great to see things visibly progressing on the Front Street cobbles. The recently installed test panel gives a good preview of what is planned to be installed next year.
“The removal of the upper section cobbles and replacement with temporary Tarmac is disappointing but we have to be pragmatic.
“Even if funding to get the whole of Front Street reinstated was found now any actual reinstatement work is not likely to happen until 2022.
“That messy patch work of cobbles and Tarmac probably wouldn’t last two more winters.
“Tarmac is not what we want but will improve the look of the town especially after the new cobbles have been laid near the Market Cross and the other tidying up work has been completed.”
The barriers around the section of cobbles where the council is testing out various laying patterns will be removed on 21st August.
Ian Grey, chair of Alston Moor Business Association, said: “We’re delighted that Cumbria County Council have an ambition to fully reinstate the cobbles from the bottom to the top of Front Street.
“In the short-term we accept that the temporary Tarmac will be a safety and visual improvement for our community and visitors while funding is sought to restore the cobbles, which are a key part of our heritage that help to make Alston a unique place to live in and to visit.
“We will work alongside the council to ensure that while Front Street is closed for this work, visitors are still encouraged to come to Alston, aided by clear signage and other communications.”
A virtual drop-in session with representatives from the Front Street project steering group and county council officers will be held on 7th September between 1pm and 2pm and 6pm and 8pm. More details will be released soon.