Delayed tests to check the safety of a riverbank were due to be carried out this week. 

Due to poor weather in February, Dorset Council was unable to test the soil nails on the bank of the River Stour bordering the A357 in Sturminster Newton.

The were nearly 500 nails drilled through the bedrock at the end of 2023 to stabilise the bank which was slipping into the river putting the road above at risk. 

Resistance tests were due to be carried out this week on the nails to check they are working as expected and the road is safe from slipping down the bank.

The process will take approximately three weeks.

There will be no impact on vehicle traffic, with all work taking place away from the carriageway.

Part of the fencing will be removed temporarily to enable access and any ground or flora disturbed during the process will be repaired or replanted.

Cllr Jon Andrews, cabinet member for place commissioned services at Dorset Council, said: “Back in the winter, our team and contractors, Heidelberg, worked in challenging conditions to secure the riverbank and this testing is a standard part of the process to make sure everything is working as expected.  

“We thank everyone, including residents, businesses, the town council and local ward councillor for their patience throughout the process.” 

There will be a welfare unit situated on the access to the Mill to provide amenities for the engineers and an area will also be coned off for contractors’ vehicles.

Replacement trees will be planted at the nature reserve on the other side of the bridge later this year.