to protect A38 road bridge and improve water flow completed
major schemes near Burnham-On-Sea to improve the flow of water
in the Kings Sedgemoor Drain and protect an important road
bridge have been completed.
County Council teamed up with the Somerset Rivers Authority to
remove the foundations of the old arched bridge at Dunball which
were left behind when the bridge was replaced in the 1950s.
used divers to survey beneath the bridge before breaking up and
removing the masonry. Work was complicated by working in and around
water in the confined space under the bridge in close proximity
to a sewer pipe.
old foundations have long acted as a bottleneck beneath Dunball
Old Bridge which carries the A38 southbound and
made the water in the Kings Sedgemoor Drain more turbulent
in times of high flow.
turbulence has impacted on the Dunball New Bridge which
carries the A38 northbound and is a short distance downstream
by scouring out the foundations which could potentially
weaken the bridges supporting pillars.
work was underway at Dunball Old Bridge, a second major scheme
was in operation to protect Dunball New Bridge. This was a significant
challenge, requiring underwater working to repair up to 3.5m of
scour around the bridge pillars before strengthening the foundations.
schemes were completed last month, just days before the first
significant storm of the winter hit Somerset on 19/20 November.
David Fothergill, Somerset County Councils Cabinet Member
for Highways, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This was vital work
to protect the A38 one of the key routes into Bridgwater
and the main diversion if the M5 is closed for any reason.
Although there was no immediate danger posed to either bridge,
it was also clear that work was required to prevent greater problems
in the future."
never easy working on bridges or around water with all the potential
hazards that can entail, so full credit to all involved for completing
both jobs before winter."
John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council and Chairman of
the SRA, added: "This was a great example of two authorities
working in partnership to achieve several goals at once. Not only
have we safeguarded an important road, we have also improved the
flow of water in the King's Sedgemoor Drain which supports our
long-term aim to reduce the risk of future flooding. These are
both key objectives of Somersets 20-Year Flood Action Plan."
schemes were funded and delivered by Somerset County Council and
designed to tie in with the Somerset Rivers Authoritys proposed
multi-million pound programme of works to improve the River Sowy
and the Kings Sedgemoor Drain from Monks Leaze Clyse
near Langport down to Dunball Sluice.
Top to bottom: (1) Completed scheme at Dunball New Bridge; (2)
Aerial map showing Dunball Old Bridge, right, Dunball New Bridge,
centre, and the Dunball Sluice, left; (3) Dunball Old Bridge with
old bridge foundations, on left, still in place; (4) Dunball Old
Bridge with masonry removed