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Dredging update No 25 – 15 August 2014

Postedon 21st August, 2014 in News

Dredging Briefing 25

Rivers Parrett and Tone Dredging Project 15 August 2014

Progress over the last week

We currently have 7 gangs working. There are 3 working on the Tone, 1 gang working to install the pontoon at Westonzoyland Pumping Station and 3 dredging on the River Parrett.

We have dredged a length of 4 km of river (8 km of total river bank length) on the Parrett and Tone and are now officially at the half way point. We’ve removed approximately 77,500m³ of silt and remain on programme to complete work by the end of October.

This week’s visual update of the dredge can be found at: www.facebook.com/environmentagencywessex

Dredging on Parrett

Dredging on the left bank of the Parrett near Millwood Farm

Due to high winds last weekend and at the beginning of the week we were unable to install the pontoon on the River Parrett at Westonzoyland Pumping Station using a large crane. The crane is installing the pontoon today (Friday). Once the pontoon is installed floating dredging plant will arrive to complete further dredging in the Parrett including sections we were previously unable to reach.

We have discovered water voles on the River Tone on a section of bank where we are due to start dredging shortly. We have worked closely with Natural England to obtain an appropriate license. We will be trapping and relocating them over the next week, including checking and setting the traps over the weekend. This will ensure that the dredging is not delayed and that we don’t harm a protected species during our works.

Road and footpath closures and diversions

Our road closure between Coates Farm and Saltmoor Pumping Station is now likely to take place week commencing 18 August. We have looked at options to enable the road to be opened at weekends and each evening and now think that it is possible to achieve this. The road will be closed from about 7am until 7pm during the week and fully open at weekends rather than 24/7 as first thought. Please check the local road signage for updates and diversions as well as social media. You can also find out more by contacting Kay Wilton at Land and Water Services on 07967461175.

The road closure on Riverside between the A361 and Meadow View in Burrowbridge remains in operation, though the road will be open during the evenings and at weekends. We are dredging between Shepherds Drove and Meadow View. We hope to have completed this section of works in the next fortnight.

Community open morning – 30 August 2014

We will be holding a community open morning between 10am and 12:30pm on Saturday 30 August at the dredging compound at Samways Farm on Riverside in Burrowbridge.

Please come along to find out more about the dredging and the other work we are completing in the local area. Parking on site will be limited so please car share wherever possible.

Forward look

Over the next couple of weeks we will be

  • closing the road between Coates Farm and Saltmoor Pumping Station.
  • starting work between the upstream side of the A361 road bridge and the confluence of the Rivers Parrett and Tone.

We continue to hold Wednesday drop-ins at Gillards (Samways Farm) from 16:30 until 18:30. Look for the Land and Water sign on Riverside, Burrowbridge.

Local asset repairs

As well as completing the dredge, we are repairing local ‘assets’ like river banks, pumping stations, sluices, gates and coastal flood defences that were damaged in the floods. These repairs include work mentioned in the 20 year plan for the Somerset levels and Moors

How we’ll keep you updated

Weekly updates will be sent to our partners, district and county councillors and parish councils for wider dissemination. We are also putting the latest weekly updates on the Environment Agency’s website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/somerset-levels-and-moors-reducing-the-risk-of-flooding

We are piloting a designated Wessex Facebook page where we will be posting frequent updates www.facebook.com/environmentagencywessex,
alongside continuing to use our @EnvAgencySW Twitter account.