Teignbridge District Council has approved plans for a new sea wall to protect the railway at Dawlish.
Construction of the new sea wall will begin at the end of May and once complete it will provide the railway and town with increased protection for the next 100 years.
The plans were developed by Arup to prevent stormy seas from damaging the rail line. In 2014 the embankment supporting the track was washed away and leaving it suspended in mid-air. The resulting line closure is estimated to have cost the local economy up to £1.2bn.
Network Rail western route managing director Mark Langman, said: “We know the local community in Dawlish feel strongly about the future of the sea wall and the resilience of the railway in their town. We’d like to thank them for their input and engagement with us so far.
“While developing our plans we have listened to the views put forward by the community. Our plan for the new sea wall will minimise its impact on Dawlish sea front while providing the appropriate level of protection from extreme weather for the railway and the town.
“We are pleased that Teignbridge District Council has approved the new sea wall and thank it for its thorough reviews of our plans throughout the process to date.
He added: “The new sea wall will protect this vital rail artery to the South West for the next 100 years. World leading engineers have designed these plans, having considered hundreds of other options, and it will ensure the railway line is more resilient to extreme weather and rising sea levels for generations to come.
“We now looking forward to commencing work on site at the end of May. However, work will stop during the peak summer season, so it does not affect the main tourism season. We will also continue to update and engage with the local community as we continue with this vital work.”
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.