A major road will close for four weeks due to roadworks.

The A357 at Durweston – which runs between Blandford and Sturminster Newton – will be closed between Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, July 21 while flood arches on the eastern side of the village are demolished and replaced.

In the meantime, drivers will be diverted on the A350.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Our essential maintenance to replace these flood arches and redesign the road embankments will improve the safety of this section of the A357, as well as lowering our ongoing maintenance costs.

“We know the inconvenience road closures cause. All too often drivers decide they know best and ignore road closure signs to travel through our works area.

“Please do not attempt to use the A357 to the east of Durweston village – there will be three, deep gaps across the width of the road.

“Unfortunately, we don’t currently have any plans to replace or improve Durweston Bridge.

“Land limitations in the area means that replacing the bridge, and widening or realigning the road onto any new bridge, would cost a significant amount of money. Improving the existing bridge is also very difficult as it’s a listed structure, which ties our hands in what we are able to do with it.”

The project was started after recent inspections showed the flood arches in question were deteriorating and needed to be replaced for the sake of road safety.

The deterioration is undermining the highway as well.

The current flood arches are made of brick, while the new ones will be concrete.

They will be installed in the exact same position as the old units, although the footprint of the structures will be wider.

The embankment slopes will also be re-graded to give the road additional support.

They will be widened and their slopes will be slackened, and they will also be re-vegetated with grass.

The scheme will ultimately be finished in September, at which point the compounds will have been dismantled and the access tracks removed.

For information, visit dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/durweston-flood-arches