Repair work being carried out to keep historic Ramsey culverts from collapse

Ramsey tunnels, Great Whyte, Ramsey,

Ramsey tunnels, Great Whyte, Ramsey, - Credit: Archant

More than £650,000 worth of repair work is being carried out to a 19th century culvert in Ramsey after it was found to be in danger of collapse.

Ramsey tunnels, Great Whyte, Ramsey,

Ramsey tunnels, Great Whyte, Ramsey, - Credit: Archant

One of the culverts running under Great Whyte, in Ramsey, is currently undergoing a second round of maintenance following the discovering of damages to 18 metres of archway.

Cambridgeshire County Council bridge engineer Stephen McGee said: “When the surfacing was removed from an 18 metre section of the culvert, the brickwork began to sag, fall out and left the culvert in a very dangerous state for workmen and residents alike.”

The original plan was to rebuild small sections of one of the culverts but, due to the nature of the faults, it was decided that it was necessary to overhaul the entire 18-metre section.

It has been estimated by the county council that this work will cost around £650,000 – which will cover the cost of a full rebuild of the culvert from Little Whyte to the clock tower.

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Mr McGee added that this work would also include rebuilding the beam supporting the tower.

The latest work comes less than a year after the county council spent £200,000 on a first round of repairs on the culvert.

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The repairs had to be carried out after contractors discovered that a utility company had drilled into the culvert, causing it to become unstable.

“Investigations discovered that a utility company had drilled through the top of the culvert and put one of their cables through, causing structural instability,” added Mr McGee.

The council is currently in the process of recouping the costs from the utility company.

It is expected that the work will be finished on the culvert on Friday.

The culverts, which date back to the 19th century, were built to carry the Bury Brook under the town. The culverts start under the NatWest Bank in the High Street and run the length of the Great Whyte up to The Mill, covering the river underneath.

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