A SCHEME to completely rebuild a crumbling retaining wall along a stretch of one of Somerset’s busiest transport arteries is nearing completion.

Work on the A30 at Haselbury Plucknett is now in its final stages and is expected to be finished by the end of July.

But to complete the scheme, there will be overnight closures of the road for five days from 8pm to 6am from Monday to Friday, July 25-29 to allow full access for workers. It will re-open with temporary traffic lights during daytime hours.

Somerset County Council’s contractor has removed the dangerously deteriorating old retaining wall beside of the road and is building a completely new structure.

Cllr Mike Rigby, executive lead member for transport and digital, said: “This has been a really difficult scheme for the local community and we’re incredibly grateful for their patience and continued support.

“The team met the many challenges they faced brilliantly, showing flexibility and great innovation in order to get this work done. I’m pleased to confirm the end is now in sight.”

Since work began in February, the team have faced significant challenges, including:

  • access to the structure on private land with limited scope for excavation until works commenced, when it was clear the deterioration was much worse than anticipated, meaning the structure had to be secured first, adding time to the programme. The cooperation of the land owners has reduced costs and project time;
  • delays were also caused by Storms Eunice and Franklin at the start;
  • during the first phase of work the team uncovered previously uncharted underground pipes, ducts and cables under the ground, which meant liaising with Wessex Water and BT to ensure works could progress safely;
  • a large area of older masonry from a much earlier wall under the surface needed to be excavated and removed.
  • although the initial work was carried out under road closure, the vast majority of the scheme is being delivered under temporary lights, with convoy movements for HGV vehicles to minimise disruption for local residents and businesses. This has meant restrictions on the size of the works area and consequently a longer timeframe to deliver the scheme.