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Historic viaduct helps reduce flood risk

Whalley viaduct

An iconic railway viaduct will help reduce local flood risk after being fitted with a new water storage system.

Work to protect Lancashire’s Whalley Viaduct – following a £1.6M investment from Network Rail as part of its railway upgrade plan – aims to reduce the impact of excess water on the area, which was badly affected by flooding last Christmas.

At the bottom of the viaduct, 16 catch pits and a control flow chamber have been dug out and 400m of pipes laid at ground level.

The system will hold back excess water collected from the railway and prevent it from being discharged into the River Calder when water levels are high. When river levels have receded, the surface water will then slowly be released into the watercourse.

“This £1.6M improvement package at Whalley Viaduct will not only help reduce the risk of flooding in the village, but will also make sure this famous viaduct is safe to use for many years,” said Network Rail works delivery manager Michael Lally.

“Our railway upgrade plan is providing a better, more reliable railway across Britain and in Whalley we are seeing even wider benefits by helping to reduce the flood risk in the local area.”

The work started in October and will last for approximately five months.

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