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Wall collapse in Bridgwater – update

Posted on 4th November, 2011 in News

Part of the wall along the River Parrett on West Quay in Bridgwater collapsed into the water yesterday afternoon.

The wall caved in on the West Quay, near Ocean Fish Bar, and firefighters from the Fire Servjce and officers from Avon and Somerset police cordoned off the area.

It is estimated that 40 metres of the wall and some of the nearby road has dropped into the river following heavy rainfall.

Roads surrounding  the area – including West Quay, East Quay, Fore Street, part of Eastover, Castle Street and the town bridge – were closed.

The old riverside wall belongs to Sedgemoor District Council.  It was extended some years ago by the Environment Agency to improve the town’s flood defences.

The wall also supports the public highway which is the responsibility of Somerset County Council.

All three authorities are working together to resolve the problem.

There are two phases, firstly to stabilise the material behind the failing wall.  This is being progressed with urgency by the three authorities. This will be followed by the “permanent” solution, which is the reconstruction of this flood defence wall.

The material behind the wall contains water, gas, electricity and sewers. These complicate all phases of the reconstruction and the three authorities are working closely with the utility companies.

It is clear the collapsing wall has caused considerable disruption and will continue to do so for an extended period.

The wall has been displaced outwards 5 metres from its original line for a length of 20-30m. Underground services have been significantly damaged or disrupted with several pipelines severed or damaged. The highway surfacing is significantly unstable with parts of it lost.

The weather forecast for the next couple day predict a dry spell with no further heavy rainfall.

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