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Bradninch Bridge gets priority with flood repairs
6:00pm Sunday 20th October 2013 in Devon
WORK to repair Waterstave Bridge in Bradninch, which collapsed in last year’s floods, will take priority over other projects, Devon County Council has revealed.
After dipping into emergency funds in the aftermath of the floods, councillors have agreed to a programme of repairs to deal with £5.5million of outstanding roadworks.
Under the new proposals, the Grade II listed structure, washed away when the Culm broke its banks last November, should be rebuilt before 2015 with Collard Bridge in Snapper, while Alma Bridge in Sidmouth is due to be repaired before 2016.
The decision to prioritise some roads over others was taken at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when councillors learned that the impact of the floods will be felt for the next four years.
Around £12.2million was spent in the immediate aftermath clearing debris from roads and drains, patching roads, reinstating embankments, and repairing bridges, roads and culverts.
Devon received a little over £3million of Government ‘Bellwin’ funding as a contribution towards the repairs, and the county council dipped into £3.6million of emergency reserves to cope with the volume of work.
The council is now calling for additional Government funding for roads.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, county council cabinet member for highway maintenance and flood prevention, said: “A huge demand has been pla-ced on our resources at a time when we can ill afford it.
“We need to continue to highlight the underfunding of highway maintenance and lobby Government for more funding to maintain our highway asset in Devon.
“Unfortunately, it’ll take time to restore our roads, so it’s correct to prioritise this backlog so we can address the roads with the most impact first.
“Waterstave Bridge was prioritised because of the length of the diversion route, it’s on a route which serves communities and because of its importance to the local community.”
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