Work Starts On Collapsed Beaminster Tunnel

Preparation work starts today (3rd December) on shoring up the Beaminster Tunnel in Dorset - where two people died in a landslide back in July.

The preliminary work involves fencing the works area and clearing vegetation so that construction can start after the Christmas and New Year break.

Construction work will include:

There will be around 1000 nails, each between ten metres and 12 metres long, driven into the slope and connected to a mesh that will cover and retain the surface layers.

Extensive drainage will be introduced to remove water from the soil nailed slopes and prevent surface water from adjacent ground running on to the stabilised area.

At both the north and south portals the end few metres of the arch will be strengthened with reinforced concrete.

The wing walls on the approach to the tunnel portals will be anchored into the slopes with soil nails drilled through the wall.

A public meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 6 December at Beaminster's Public Meeting Hall, so that residents and businesses can hear about the progress of the project to reopen the tunnel, and have their questions answered.

Cabinet member for transport Peter Finney said: ''Our engineers have been working tirelessly over the last four months to investigate all the options available for reopening the Beaminster Tunnel with a safe and long-lasting solution.

I'm pleased that we have been able to start preparation work so soon after the preferred option of soil nailing was confirmed. This shows our commitment to reopening the tunnel as soon as we can.''

Councillor Rebecca Knox, Dorset County Council division member for Beaminster, said: ''There was another landslip at the tunnel during the recent heavy rain, it is excellent that works can start now on the slopes, following the extensive investigation of their geological make-up; the town and the parishes need the road opened up as soon as possible, lets get on with it.''

The public meeting will consist of a presentation on progress, followed by a question and answer session.

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