Axminster flood scheme should be completed in September

PUBLISHED: 11:01 08 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:07 11 July 2017

Flood alleviation work  under way at Axminster's Millbrook Culvert

Flood alleviation work under way at Axminster's Millbrook Culvert

Archant

Works to protect some 160 homes in Axminster are progressing well, say council chiefs

Axminster county councillor Ian Hall. Picture: CHRIS CARSONAxminster county councillor Ian Hall. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

The Devon County Council says its project, in Willhay Lane, is now halfway through its six-month programme and is currently on schedule to be completed in September.

The Millbrook culvert is being widened and realigned to improve its capacity and flow of water, and a new structure is being built to fully enclose part of the flood prone channel.

More than 90 sheet piles have been installed along the alignment of the new culvert, and the ground between the piles has been excavated.

The Millbrook is mainly an open channel, but passes beneath a number of roads and a shallow culvert to pass beneath the Exeter to Waterloo rail line. Water from Millbrook has been temporarily diverted beneath the culvert works, to provide a dry working environment. Once construction of the culvert side walls has been completed water will be channelled back through the site.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for flooding, said: “This is a challenging scheme. The site is quite restricted as the culvert runs close to two homes, and connects to the existing culvert under the rail line which has required a number of clearances from Network Rail.

“Unfortunately, due to the construction involved, inconvenience is unavoidable. We appreciate the continued patience from local residents whose flood risk will be greatly reduced when this scheme is complete.”

Ian Hall, Devon County Councillor for Axminster, said: “This area to the north of Axminster has historically suffered from flooding, especially the flooding in 2012 when the flooding was absolutely horrendous.

“Thank you to all of those who have made these improvements possible. This scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to around 160 homes by removing the bottleneck where the Millbrook approaches Willhay Lane and the rail culvert.”

Work on the project is being carried out by contractor South West Highways.

The county council says that Willhay Lane will need to remain closed until the works are complete.

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