B3168 investigations continue

Engineers will be on site at a road near Ilminster over the next few weeks as efforts to identify what caused structural damage to the carriageway continue.

The B3168 at The Beacon has been closed since February when the extreme wet weather caused the road to move and there were concerns for the safety of drivers.

Since then a number of surveys have taken place but it is not clear what caused the road to break up. Initial investigations have indicated that the structural damage is most likely to be linked to instability within the hillside, rather than a localised problem with the road.

Following a topographical survey last week, a team of geotechnical experts will be drilling trial pits and boreholes in adjacent fields over the next few weeks.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The situation at The Beacon is very difficult because we all want the road to be reopened as soon as possible. However, the safety of the public is our number one priority and we have to find out what caused the damage before we can make repairs.

“We have been open and honest about this from the outset and explained that it is likely to be a very complex process which could take many months. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and please be assured that we are doing everything we can to find a solution.”