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West Quay update as at Monday, 14th November

Posted on 14th November, 2011 in News

1. There is a need to collect as much photographic evidence as possible of the event which may help to pinpoint the cause of the collapse. Members of the public are being asked to bring any photographs of West Quay and the surrounding area during the partial wall collapse on Friday, November 4th .

A public appeal will take place at temporary drop-in marquee at the Snowflakes and Shopping event on Friday, November 18^th in High Street from 12.30 until 1500 hrs. Photographs can be dropped off and will be photocopied and returned to their owners.

The whole area is also rich in archaeological remains and the team working on the incident are keen to gather information about when these may have been exposed during any earlier works, such as when the largesewer was put in during the early 1970s.

Members of the public can also call in to the stand with information and ask questions on November 18th. Alternatively, there is a feedback option on our webpage to for collecting comments – www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/westquaydamage

2. Public safety is paramount. It still remains a very dangerous area.

3. Some residents have moved back into their homes against advice. We are working as hard as we can to get people back to their homes and businesses. Whilst it may appear stable at present, the circumstances could change at very short notice. We are advising people accordingly. We completely understand people’s frustrations, but repeat that public safety is paramount.

4. There will be no quick fix for what is a large engineering project.

5. Monitoring over the weekend shows that the wall has stopped moving at present. There are hundreds of tonnes of masonry in the wall, which is structurally unsound.

6. The erosion protection work (in the hole behind the wall) has been completed and has helped to stabilise the soft earth bank. However, the entire site is still very dangerous. Although this work is done and contractors moved off site; there is still plenty of work being done to work out a long-term engineering solution. Contractors are on-hand to move back as and when needed.

7. Options for controlled removal of the wall are being considered. It is a listed structure. Logistically, it would be very difficult operation. Large and heavy machinery would be needed and the road stability has been compromised. A waterside operation is also being considered. However, none of this could happen overnight as it would take specialist equipment and would be a hazardous operation to carry out, given the instability of the site and working around tidal constraints.

8. The effect of the wall collapsing (or being removed) will have an effect on the rest of the wall, the adjoining road and the action of the river. It is this unknown consequence that affects future decisions.

9. A trial temporary flood defence will be put in place later in the week, ready for when higher tides are forecast towards the end of the month.

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