WORK will be carried out to raise the road surface at Earith Bridge in a bid to help reduce flooding, Cambridgeshire County Council has announced.
The measures have been agreed with the Environment Agency and will raise the road surface by about 50mm (just under two inches) as well as filling in low spots, adding about 1ft to some areas of the road.
However, CCC stressed that the work will NOT prevent higher water levels flooding the road as the area is designed to flood and is part of the flood plain.
Agreement to raise the road level slightly came after the EA carried out extensive work to establish the safe level by which the road surface could be lifted.
Council contractors are currently carrying out repair and maintenance work on the bridge, including waterproofing the bridge deck, new jointing, carriageway and footway repairs and measures to protect the steel reinforcing. The road will also now be resurfaced.
The council said it is anticipated that the work will reduce the number and duration of road closures caused by flooding – the road closures are triggered by alerts from the Environment Agency on predicted water levels in the area.
Councillor Steve Criswell, who represents Somersham and Earith at Shire Hall, said: “I would like to thank the Environment Agency for working with me and the County Highways team to enable the absolute maximum level of improvements to be carried out. Even these minor changes should reduce the severity of flooding and the need for road closures.
“I and everyone else in the area understand that the bridge and surrounding area are designed to be flooded at certain times, but this work will reduce the instances of low level flooding and help to keep any necessary closures to a minimum and therefore cut the length of time that traffic is forced to find alternative routes when the road is closed.”
Overall, the work on the bridge will cost around £350,000 with a further £100,000 for the road resurfacing work.
All the work is expected to be finished by mid-April.