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17 September 2014, 09:42
Drop-in events are being held for people to find out more about two key flood protection schemes and their associated road closures in Somerset.
The events will be a chance for people to get more information and ask questions about the road-raising scheme in Muchelney and the project to install new culverts at Beer Wall on the A372.
People can also discuss the road closures and diversions which will come into effect when work starts on 29 September.
The community drop-in events will be staffed by Somerset County Council, its contractor for these projects, Skanska and the Environment Agency and take place as follows:
Monday, September 22, 3pm - 7pm, Muchelney Church
Tuesday, September 23, 3pm - 7pm, The Pound Inn, Aller
Both schemes require road closures for up to eleven weeks.
Preparation works for a new Environment Agency flood scheme will begin this week causing some delays on Aller Drove. On 29 September, the Aller Drove will also be closed for up to six weeks for the completion of the scheme, meaning there will be an overlap with the closure of the nearby A372.
The impacts on school transport have been identified and will be catered for.
Councillor John Osman, Chairman of the Flood Action Plan Leaders Implementation Group and Leader of Somerset County Council, said:
''These schemes are key elements of the Flood Action Plan and we are trying our hardest to deliver them before the end of the year.
''You cannot do this kind of work without closing roads. We know that can be an inconvenience for residents and businesses, but I ask for people's patience and appreciation of the long-term benefits that will follow the short-term disruption.''
All the schemes are part of the Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan being delivered by a range of agencies, coordinated by County Council. The plan will guide water and land management policies and investment on the Levels and Moors for the next 20 years.
Simon White, Business Director, Skanska, said: ''Skanska is delighted to be delivering these schemes on behalf of Somerset County Council. As the Council's highway maintenance contractor our teams were at the forefront of the flood response earlier this year and we know all too well the significant impact they had on our local communities.
''We are proud to be building these schemes and playing our part in improving the future management of the levels and moors. We look forward to working with the communities to try and minimise disruption as much as possible during the schemes.''
An unrelated resurfacing scheme on the A39 at Cossington will see the road closed between 7pm and 7am for five nights, starting on Monday 29 September.
Temporary traffic signals will be in place during the day. An official diversion route will be advertised, taking into account the road closures at Beer Wall and Aller Drove.