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14 March 2014, 16:35
The A361 between East Lyng and Burrowbridge is set to reopen later today after an inspection by Somerset County Council’s Highways officers.
The road has been closed since December 31 due to flooding but has been given the all-clear to reopen from 5pm today (March 14).
There is still some water on a short stretch of the road so temporary traffic lights will be installed to protect the carriageway and allow motorists to pass safely.
Cllr Harvey Siggs, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said:
“I’m delighted the A361 is to reopen at long last. Our Highways teams have been working hard all week to clear the road and make sure it is safe, and I would like to publicly thank them for their efforts to get this key route open before the weekend.”
A further inspection will take place early next week and the temporary traffic lights will be removed as soon as the flooding has receded and the road judged to be safe.
Cllr Siggs added:
“Although the road is clear, the rhynes at the side of the road remain full of water so I would urge motorists to take extra care when driving, particularly in the foggy conditions we have seen over the last few days.”
The clear up of the A361 started on Monday with the removal of fallen trees and the cutting back of damaged vegetation. Approximately 30 tonnes of used sandbags were removed before a sweeping and cleaning operation covered the 1.5 mile section of carriageway.
The road closure on the A372 Langport Road will remain in place next week for the removal of flood pumps. Due to improving conditions and the reduced flow through the Sowy, the large temporary pumps at Beer Wall (A372) near Aller are no longer needed.
These pumps will remain on site over the weekend as the Environment Agency monitor conditions. The Agency expects to begin removing them on Monday, work which is likely to take up to four days. The A372 will remain closed after the pumps have been removed so that Somerset County Council Highways can assess flood damage and carry out emergency repair works. More information about the continued closure will be shared as soon as it is available.
Repairs are essential to make the road safe and the Council will continue to work with the Environment Agency to re-open it as soon as possible. Leader of Somerset County Council, John Osman, said: “
We apologise for any inconvenience this causes for motorists, but the removal of these pumps is at least another positive sign of water levels decreasing. We’re working closely with the Environment Agency, and the other organisations involved in support the flood-affected areas, to return some normality and soon as possible.”
Flow through Monksleaze Clyce is being reduced. This will reduce flows through the Sowy and Kings Sedgemoor Drain system. The Environment Agency will closely monitor the situation to ensure that all pumps at our permanent pumping stations can continue to operate to drain the water levels on the moors.