Construction work begins to restore key Cumbria road link


Work has begun to repair and re-open a key route in Cumbria that was damaged in December's storms.

Large sections of the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick have been closed since storm Desmond in early December.

The Department for Transport brought in Highways England to manage the project and last month Kier Highways were appointed as the main contractor for works to rebuild a section of road at Dunmail Raise, near Grasmere, which was washed away.

Floodwaters washed away the A591 at Dunmail Raise

Following some preparatory work and preliminary construction work, construction has started on a new concrete retaining wall in the stream to the side of the collapsed section of the road.

The gap in the road will then be backfilled with crushed stone and a new road surface laid. A new wall will be constructed in front of the retaining wall using local stone.

Highways England says work is also underway on another section of road further north. A helicopter survey, which is due to take place shortly, will provide detailed technical information about the stability of the scree slopes next to the road using LiDAR technology.

Other survey information is also being used to identify what repairs are required to culverts, bridges and the road surface.

Highways England and Cumbria County Council hope the road can be fully re-opened by the end of May. In the meantime, Cumbria CC has constructed a temporary road for use by a shuttle bus.

Andy Withington, Highways England's asset delivery manager for the North West, said: 'We are acutely aware of the need to get the A591 north of Grasmere open again as soon as possible, and I would like to reassure local communities and businesses that the main construction work is now beginning.

‘We will continue to work closely with Kier Highways, Cumbria County Council and its contractors to do all we can to get the A591 repaired and re-opened.’

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus