Beacon reopens in time for Christmas

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A flood-damaged road near Ilminster which was closed to traffic for nearly ten months has now reopened – just in time for Christmas.

Areas of the B3168 at The Beacon needed to be completely rebuilt by Somerset County Council after it suffered severe structural damage during extreme weather last winter.

The extensive repairs included a full reconstruction of sections of the highway and a new drainage system, and were completed in just seven weeks as teams pulled out all the stops to get the road reopened before Christmas.

Specialist machinery was brought in which meant excavations for the new drains were completed far quicker than by conventional methods.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I’m so pleased the work has now finished and we’ve fulfilled our commitment to reopening the road in time for Christmas, proving the doubters wrong.

“This was the largest highway slippage experienced in Somerset for many years and a huge amount of work took place behind the scenes to find out what was causing the problem. My thanks to all the workers who have done a first class job in completely removing and rebuilding the road in just seven weeks.

“I would also like to thank the local residents who remained so patient and understanding during the closure and while the repairs were being carried out. We know it’s been frustrating and we hope they can all enjoy a very happy Christmas now work is complete.”