Plans for works that would prevent the closure of the A372 at times of flood and increase the capacity of the River Sowy will be shared with the public this month.
A drop-in event in Othery Village Hall on Tuesday, 22 July, 3-8pm, is being jointly hosted by the Environment Agency and Somerset County Council as part of engaging with the community on delivering the multi-agency Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan.
It will give information about the County Council’s scheme that would see four new culverts built to the east of Langacre Rhyne which runs alongside the Sowy under the A372 at Beer Wall.
At times of flood, the culverts would allow water to pass under the road and feed back into the rhyne. Last winter the A372 was flooded at Beer Wall for several weeks and then closed to accommodate emergency pumping.
The drop-in event will be a chance for people to find out more information, ask questions and give their comments on the proposed scheme.
The Environment Agency will be sharing information about its proposals for channel improvements on the River Sowy and Kings Sedgemoor Drain. All the works aim to increase the capacity of the channels so that in a future flood situations water could more quickly and more effectively diverted from the River Parrett through to Dunball.
Graham Quarrier for the Environment Agency said:
The Environment Agency project will complement the work started by Somerset County Council. Together they will allow the Sowy to act more efficiently as a flood relief channel and provide benefits across a large area.
Cllr Harvey Siggs, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said:
The closure of this A road, first for flooding and then to accommodate the emergency pumping, caused major disruption for lots of people. Making our infrastructure as flood-proof as possible is a key aim of the Action Plan and this scheme has been designed so that the road would be able to stay open even if we have the same flood levels as last year.
The works being discussed at the drop-in event are being undertaken as part of the Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan. The Plan is being delivered by a range of agencies coordinated by Somerset County Council. The Beer Wall improvements are the responsibility of the County Council.
Councillor John Osman, Chairman of the Flood Action Plan Leaders Implementation Group and Leader of Somerset County Council, added:
The work of the County Council and the Environment Agency on the Sowy is closely linked and interdependent – it demonstrates of how agencies are working together to deliver the Plan. I urge anyone with an interest to come along to the drop-in and find out more.