March 9 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Plans to build a series of raised banks to defend a stretch of the A12 from flooding will be unveiled at an exhibition.
The Suffolk County Council plans to protect the road at Blythburgh, near Southwold, will go on display in Blythburgh Village Hall on Tuesday from 4pm to 8pm.
Work is due to start in March on the defence banks which will protect the single carriage A road as it crosses the Blythburgh estuary, north of the village.
The scheme is about 650m in length and the council says it addresses the flooding issue present through that stretch of the A12, which is situated between tidal flood plains that are often below water level.
The decision to build the walls follows a year of work by the county council, the Environment Agency and Natural England to model the effects of flood defences on the immediate area and downstream at Southwold Harbour.
Extensive on-site analysis and environmental assessments have been carried out.
The current level of embankments provides very little flood protection for the A12 and when it does flood, vegetation along with flood water is washed into the road causing hazards to oncoming traffic.
Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said: “With the ever changing weather and risk of flooding across parts of the UK, we know that we cannot and must not allow a repeat of the devastating floods that took place six years ago at this location as we fully acknowledge that the A12 is the strategic link between two of Suffolk’s largest towns, Ipswich and Lowestoft.
“The bunds will enable us to safeguard the road at the earliest possible opportunity, while giving us time to investigate any other measures that might offer added protection to the local area.”
The scheme comprises two sections of work. The first is to construct a new west embankment and toe ditch, and the second is for the installation of sheet piling with the re-grading of the east embankment.
The west embankment will be constructed first so that a disruptive habitat survey and species translocation on the east bank can be carried out prior to piling.
The main construction is proposed for March to July with landscaping and planting in October.