Highways called to attend ‘exploded’ road

A37 damage sq

Highways engineers from Somerset County Council were quick to respond following reports that a road in South Somerset had ‘exploded’.

The damage, thought to have been caused by a burst water pipe, blocked part of the carriageway of the A37 near Ilchester on Thursday (Jan 8).

Highways were notified by a member of the public who reported that the road had ‘exploded’, and quickly attended the scene to make the area safe. Temporary traffic lights were brought in to keep the road open in both directions while emergency repairs were carried out. The road was fully reopened by Tuesday lunchtime (Jan 13)

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Our staff are well used to repairing potholes – and in fact repaired more than 22,000 of them across Somerset last year. But it is not every day they are called to attend an ‘exploding road’.

“Fortunately, this sounds much worse than it was. We believe the damage was caused by debris becoming trapped, which then blocked the drainage system. During a period of heavy rain, the system failed which resulted in structural damage to the highway.

“It is frustrating that this freak event occurred on a road which was recently resurfaced, but that is one of the many challenges we have to deal with on a daily basis. We’ve carried out a temporary repair and will arrange for more substantial resurfacing works to take place shortly.

“My thanks to the team who were quick to make the area safe and have made the road ‘bang’ up to date.”

If you spot a problem on the road, you can report it online at www.somerset.gov.uk or telephone 0845 345 9155.