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Friday, 31 October 2014

Huge river boulders to protect busy Cumbrian road

Limestone blocks weighing the same as 200 double decker buses have been put in place to stop a river bank eroding onto a busy main road.

The major project, costing more than half a million pounds, has been completed along the River Derwent in Workington to stop the erosion creeping closer to the A595 Northside Road.

Cumbria County Council and its highway contractor Connect Roads have jointly invested the cash for the improvement works to strengthen the north bank of the river, between Northside and Navvies Bridge.

The blocks, weighing around 3,000 tonnes, have been placed up to six metres high to protect and secure the land between the river and the road. It has presented challenges to the contractor when manoeuvring plant and machinery.

Equipment used has included two large excavators and a 35-tonne crawler crane.

This has resulted in works taking longer than estimated, with the project being complete in 20 weeks. Contractors were also faced with difficult ground conditions along the old railway.

Keith Little, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said he was “delighted” the scheme had been successfully completed.

“It was important we carried out this work to protect the highway from the threat of erosion and I’d like to thank the contractor, who has done a terrific job working in challenging circumstances,” he added.

As well as the work to the riverbank, a number of tree branches were removed after becoming embedded in the river near the construction site.

Andy Dean, regional operations director for Connect Roads, said: “The Northside scheme has delivered a long-term solution that safeguards this important road by protecting and securing land between the river and the highway.”

The council secured consent from the Environment Agency and the Marine Management Organisation for the scheme and the landowner, Allerdale council, gave permission for contractors to move on to the site.

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