Temporary road built to create access to flood-hit village

Sir George Young MP views the construction of the temporary elevated road along the C67 Newbury Road

Sir George Young MP views the construction of the temporary elevated road along the C67 Newbury Road

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A VILLAGE hit by floods is now accessible to traffic after a road was built over the top of floodwater.

Litchfield, near Whitchurch, was cut off when surface water and groundwater flooded the C67 Newbury Road, reaching 80cm deep in some places.

Hampshire County Council’s Highways has now built an elevated road over the floods to combat the problem.

With groundwater levels forecast to continue rising over the next few weeks, flooding was set to remain a problem along the road.

The Highways team began the construction work on the temporary road on February 24 and worked 12 hours a day so it was ready to open five days later.

It involved 107 concrete barriers to contain 720 tonnes (32 lorry loads) of shingle and other base materials, and was finished off with over 600 square meters of surfacing.

Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire, said: “The lack of access to the village due to flooding had been a growing concern for Litchfield residents and I was keen to see a resolution found. I am sure they are all relieved to see that Hampshire County Council has implemented a solution, which means the road can remain open even with fluctuating water levels.

"I would like to thank the council for taking action to reconnect the village allowing residents to go about their daily lives.”

Councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, added: “With the only road to Litchfield being impassable, it was clear to us that we have to find a way of re-opening access to the village. The solution we came up with was to construct an elevated road allowing traffic to flow no matter the water levels on the highway below.

“We made every effort to get this built as quickly as possible”

The innovative engineering solution has only been used twice before in the county, most recently to re-open the B3049 Andover Road in Winchester during the current floods, and before that, 14 years ago in Ropley to keep the A31 open to traffic.

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