Major works to repair road underway

Major works are underway to rebuild a road near Ilminster which has been closed since February.

Work started on Monday – a week earlier than originally planned – and providing there are no unseen problems or extreme bad weather, it means the B3168 at The Beacon should be repaired and reopened in time for Christmas.

The road was first closed for safety reasons earlier this year when prolonged heavy rain caused the road to move and there were concerns for the safety of drivers.

Since then Somerset County Council has carried out extensive geological surveys and found two areas where major works are needed.

The repairs, which include a full reconstruction of the highway and footways and a new drainage system, are expected to take around seven weeks to complete.

Excavation work for the new drainage system which would usually take up to four weeks to complete should be complete in just four days thanks to machinery brought in especially for this scheme.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “It is great to hear that we have started work to rebuild the B3168 and we are confident that it will be open before Christmas due to new techniques and machinery that we are using.”

“I understand that the road closure has been frustrating, but thanks to an extensive investigation we were able to discover exactly what caused the road to slip and are now able to repair it and reinforce the strength of the road in a relatively short amount of time.

“I’d like to thank all of the teams who have worked determinedly over the past months. It has taken a lot of hard work and they deserve recognition for finding a solution which will protect the road in the future.”