LITCHFIELD residents were given a lifeline during the flooding last month with Hampshire County Council highways engineers constructing an elevated road over flood waters.
The village was cut off due to surface water and ground water flooding on the C67 Newbury Road, with water in some places reaching 80cm deep and making the only road in and out of the village impassable.
The construction of the elevated road began on 24 February, with staff working 12-hour days to get the road open by the following weekend.
It involved using 107 concrete barriers to contain 720 tonnes of shingle, finished off with more than 600 square metres of surfacing.
The council worked with contractors Amey, R&W, Bellstan and K&N on behalf of Tarmac Lafarge to ensure that the work was carried out as quickly as possible.
MP Sir George Young 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.”
Cllr Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at the county council, said: “With the only road to Litchfield being impassable it was clear to us that we had to find a way of reopening 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 and I am pleased that the village was open for business as usual by the weekend.”
Groundwater levels are forecast to continue rising over the next few weeks and this means that flooding on the road will continue to be a problem.
The innovative engineering solution has been used twice before in the county, most recently to reopen the B3049 Andover Road in Winchester during last month’s floods, and before that, 14 years ago in Ropley to keep the A31 open to traffic.