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Skanska to start Somerset flood defence work

Skanska will start work on two major Somerset flood defence schemes later this month.

The works are part of the Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan being delivered by a range of agencies, coordinated by the County Council.

The road-raising at Muchelney and the introduction of four new culverts on the A372 at Beer Wall are scheduled to start on 29 September.

The Muchelney scheme will see a 500m stretch of the Drayton Road from Muchelney raised by over 120cm at its lowest point. This should maintain road access to the village if there is a repeat of last winter’s flooding that left the village cut-off for a prolonged period, a council statement said.

The four new culverts at Beer Wall will be built to the east of Langacre Rhyne, which runs alongside the Sowy under the A372. At times of flood, the culverts will allow water to pass under the road and feed back into the rhyne, preventing the road from flooding. Last winter the A372 was flooded at Beer Wall for several weeks and then closed to accommodate emergency pumping.

Phase one of the scheme will see a trench cut into the A372 where the culverts will later be installed. A bridge will span the trench so that the road remains open for the winter. Phase two will happen in the spring when weather improves and will see the culverts installed and the road reinstated over them.

Both schemes are being undertaken by Skanska and will result in road closures from 29 September for an estimated 10 weeks.

An Environment Agency flood defence scheme at Aller will require the closure of Aller Drove from 15 September for around six weeks.

Skanska director Simon White said: “Skanska is delighted to be delivering these schemes for Somerset County Council. As highway maintenance contractor for the council we are critically aware of the importance of these schemes to the local communities having been heavily involved in the flood response earlier this year. Our teams our working hard planning the schemes to ensure we deliver the key objectives in 2014 whilst looking to minimise disruption as much as possible.”

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