Fury at Beaminster tunnel repairs

Dorset Echo: ACTION URGED: Traders are calling for work to be done ACTION URGED: Traders are calling for work to be done

FRESH calls have been made to speed up work as the Beaminster Tunnel looks set to be closed until at least next June.

Dorset County Council is extending the formal road closure of the landslide-hit tunnel as work continues to find a solution.

Now traders have called for more urgency as they face nearly a year’s worth of disruption since the landslip in early July this year, The pleas come before a meeting in Beaminster this evening, when council engineers will reveal more details about proposals for the tunnel.

Ann Day, of the Ann Day Gallery in Beaminster, said: “I can see it being a year.

“They say six to 10 months for the work but we have the winter in between and nothing ever gets finished on time.”

Mrs Day, who has gathered a petition calling for action, said that takings in shops in Beaminster were down and the worst she has seen in 35 years of trading in the town.

“It’s dreadful.

“Locals are supporting us but nobody is going through the town.

“The solution is to open the tunnel. I don’t care what they do but they need to do it quickly.

“They don’t seem to see it as an emergency. Just something which needs doing in the future.”

The latest update from the county council outlines two main options.

Option one is stabilising the slope above the tunnel and option two is to build a permanent concrete extension to the tunnel.

It says that either option will take an estimated six months and detailed design, identifying and appointing sub-contractors and gaining consents will add to the time.

So it has extended its formal road closure notice until the end of June 2013.

More details are expected to be revealed when engineers attend the public meeting in the Public Hall at 6.30pm tonight.

 

Walls are ‘unacceptably weak’
A DORSET County Council spokesman said: “There is a possibility of further landslips on both sides of Beaminster Tunnel, meaning it cannot be reopened until a solution has been found to make it safe. Engineers are currently completing testing on material samples removed from the tunnel site, and early results indicate that the retaining walls are unacceptably weak.

“Engineers are working on two possible options to make the tunnel safe. The final decision about which option is best will be made when all the information is available.

“Either option will take an estimated six months to build.

“Detailed design, identifying and appointing sub-contractors and gaining consents will add to this time. We appreciate the closure is causing significant disruption to the community, but we take our responsibility of highway safety extremely seriously.”

Comments (4)

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3:06pm Thu 18 Oct 12

annotator1 says...

Maybe if the shrubs and trees were managed, along the edge of the road next to the tunnel instead of cutting corners, this may have been avoided!
The tree roots naturally hold the earthen banks together and stop any landslides.
Maybe if the shrubs and trees were managed, along the edge of the road next to the tunnel instead of cutting corners, this may have been avoided! The tree roots naturally hold the earthen banks together and stop any landslides. annotator1

3:35pm Thu 18 Oct 12

DickDastardly says...

Come on Echo, time to find another word other than 'Fury' to start off your headlines. 'Anger' maybe or perhaps 'Irritation'. Just a thought.
Come on Echo, time to find another word other than 'Fury' to start off your headlines. 'Anger' maybe or perhaps 'Irritation'. Just a thought. DickDastardly

6:25pm Thu 18 Oct 12

niceonecyril says...

Will the traders be happy with a few more dead bodies because they wanted a rush job, disgusting selfish people.
Will the traders be happy with a few more dead bodies because they wanted a rush job, disgusting selfish people. niceonecyril

12:00pm Fri 19 Oct 12

TRUELOCAL says...

Beaminster Tunnel is part of our heritage and the true locals of our town want to keep it, and for it to be made safe so this never happens again.
The only people who our suffering from the closure are the businesses that do not serve our local comunity and rely on the passing holiday trade.
It makes me mad that a person who is not a true local takes it upon themselves to dictate what happens in our town
Beaminster Tunnel is part of our heritage and the true locals of our town want to keep it, and for it to be made safe so this never happens again. The only people who our suffering from the closure are the businesses that do not serve our local comunity and rely on the passing holiday trade. It makes me mad that a person who is not a true local takes it upon themselves to dictate what happens in our town TRUELOCAL

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