Work to repair a flood-hit Cumbrian road that has been closed since December is well underway.
The A591, a vital Lake District tourist route, was closed between St Johns in the Vale and Dunmail Raise after severe damage caused by storms Desmond and Eva. In January, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin instructed Highways England to lead work to restore the route, which is expected to be reopened by the end of May.
A new 106m retaining wall is being built in the beck alongside the part of the A591 which collapsed.
Contractor Kier has so far installed steel supporting posts and concrete panels along 35m of the new wall. Stone masons have also started putting local stones reclaimed from the flood debris along the wall to cover the concrete, and ensure the wall blends in with the local surroundings. Concrete will be poured behind the concrete panels up to a thickness of 3.5m before a new road surface is laid on top.
Camera surveys of the drains underneath the southern section of the road have been completed and repairs have started on the damage identified.
David Pluse, Highways England’s project manager for the scheme, said: “We have made significant progress and the latest photographs from the construction site show how the wall is taking shape.
“Our contractors are also forging ahead with other work and have started repairs to the storm drains alongside Thirlmere after carrying out camera surveys. Good progress is being maintained despite the difficult working conditions and continued unpredictable and inclement weather.
“We are continuing to work closely with our contractors and Cumbria County Council to do all we can to get the A591 repaired and re-opened as soon as possible, following the extensive damage caused by December’s storms.”