[T]hroughout summer, Environment Agency staff remain focused on supporting flood affected communities and making sure they are winter ready.
Work is due to start on Botcherby Bridge, Carlisle on Monday, 1 August, to repair parapets damaged during Storm Desmond.
Scaffolding will be erected this week, with scheduled to last for a further 5 weeks. While the long-term future of the bridge is being considered, it became apparent during the flood investigation that work to reinforce the parapets of the bridge was needed to protect human lives and make the structure winter ready.
The parapets were weakened during high river flows in December, so crews will be strengthening the walls of the bridge with steel mesh and concrete spray. The work is taking place on upstream and downstream portions of the bridge. Once completed, the scaffolding will be removed and diggers will move in to begin removing gravel near the bridge.
Mike Harper from the Environment Agency, who is leading a project to ensure Cumbria’s rivers and flood defences are returned to pre-December standards, said: “This is the latest in a series of works in Carlisle to repair damage to flood defences and clear debris washed downstream by Storm Desmond. The parapets on Botcherby Bridge were weakened by the massive pressure of the record river levels on the Petteril. These repairs will strengthen the parapets, which could be at risk of collapse if we experienced similar river levels again this winter.
“Elsewhere in Carlisle, we have already begun a 3 week project to remove trees and debris from the River Petteril between London Road and Melborne Park. The area is around 400 meters – the length of three rugby pitches. The work will involve crews the use of chainsaws and winches to remove fallen trees, weakened trees and other debris that is currently in the middle of the river channel. The objective of the project is to reduce the risk of future blockages downstream.
“We’re also planning to repair a flood wall in the Caldew Maltings area in the near future.”
Since December an additional £58 million, including up to £25 million for Carlisle has been secured for flood recovery work in Cumbria.
The Environment Agency is also issuing calls to action to Carlisle residents to make sure they have signed up for flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 9881188 or logging on to www.gov.uk/flood. There are also tips available on www.gov.uk/flood on how to make your home or business more resilience to flooding.