TWO new projects to help communities battle future floods have been given the go-ahead by Somerset County Council.
Beer Wall, on the A372, is set to have four new culverts installed while Muchelney will have one of its main roads raised by more than a metre. The plans come as part of a bigger 20-year flood action scheme for the Somerset Levels and Moors, after the area was hit by extreme flooding last winter.
Cllr John Osman, leader of Somerset County Council, said: “These two schemes are pivotal to protecting communities on the Levels and Moors.
“We have spoken to the local communities and listened to them.
“Now we need to ask them to bear with us because some road closures and disruption are inevitable as we start the tough task of delivering the schemes as quickly as possible.”
The four new culverts at Beer Wall will be built to the east of Langacre Rhyne, which runs under the A372.
These instalments will allow water to flow underneath the road and into the rhyne – reducing the chance of the road becoming flooded.
Last winter part of this road was submerged for several weeks and later closed to accommodate emergency pumping.
A second new measure to help protect Somerset residents from floods will see a 500m stretch of the Drayton Road from Muchelney raised by 120cm at the lowest point.
Muchelney was cut off by flood waters earlier this year, leaving many residents marooned in their own homes.
Alastair Mullineux, chairman of the Muchelney Parish Council, said: “We are delighted that this scheme is going ahead. It will enable all residents of Muchelney to access the village in times of extreme flooding.”
Work on both projects is due to begin immediately with targets for the Muchelney road scheme to be completed by the end of this year.
The first stage of improvements at Beer Wall is also set to be finished by the end of 2014, with the instalment of the four culverts to come next spring.
Additional plans to increase the capacity of the Sowy and Kings Sedgemoor are also in the pipeline for the New Year, according to the Environment Agency.