Major flood prevention works start next week

Phase 2 of a major scheme to prevent flooding on the Somerset Levels is due to start on Tuesday (7 April).

The works are being led by Somerset County Council and will see four new culverts installed under the A372 at Beer Wall, to the east of Langacre Rhyne, which runs alongside the River Sowy.

This stretch of the A372 was closed for several weeks early last year due to flooding and then to accommodate emergency pumping.

Following the improvements, the culverts will allow water to pass beneath the road rather than over it in times of flood.

The scheme is being carried out as part of the multi-agency Flood Action Plan, the work of which is now overseen by the new Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA).

As well as keeping the A372 open, the three-stage Beer Wall scheme is designed to reduce flood risk in the Sowy and Kings Sedgemoor Drain river systems.

Phase 1, which was completed before Christmas – raising a section of the A372, cutting a section through the road which will accommodate two of the culverts, and installing a temporary bridge to keep the road open through the winter.

Phase 2, which starts next week – cutting a second section cut through the road, installing four culverts and building a permanent road built over the top of them.

Phase 3, which will be carried out by the EA and begin in the summer – diverting the Langacre Rhyne and part of the River Sowy through the new culverts to increase the capacity of the system.