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Exe Estuary Trail section to be closed for repairs

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We’re having to close a section of the Exe Estuary Trail near Lympstone for three months so we can carry out essential repairs.

The Courtlands Boardwalk, on the trail between Lympstone and Exmouth, needs to be replaced after a routine inspection of boardwalk found that timber elements of the structure are deteriorating.

We need to replace all 74 wooden spans of the boardwalk and we’re due to start on Monday 18 September.

This section of the trail will be closed while the scheme is carried out to replace the timber structural beams and deck planks with a more durable fibre-reinforced material.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:

“This an extensive scheme as the full length of boardwalk has to be taken up and replaced to ensure it does not become unsafe for use. We have no choice but to close this section of the trail for the duration of the scheme but every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum. The fibre reinforced material which is being installed is made from over 500,000 recycled bottles and has a much longer lifespan than wood, so hopefully it will mean that it won’t need another major overhaul for many, many years.”

Councillor Richard Scott, County Councillor for Exmouth, said:

“The Exe Estuary Trail is a priceless asset to our area which is well used by visitors and regulars alike so we are pleased to see this investment from Devon County Council in Lympstone. We ask for patience from residents and trail users while this essential work is carried out and the diversion is in place.”

Councillor Jeff Trail BEM, County Councillor for Exmouth, said:

“The replacement boardwalk will provide everyone with a future proofed trail to enjoy for many years to come.”

A signed diversion route will be in place enabling pedestrians to use the footpath on Exeter Road. Cyclists will need to cross over Exeter Road and follow the slightly longer route which avoids cycling on the main road. A temporary crossing will be located next to the petrol station to provide an additional safe crossing for this route.

While using the diversion route, pedestrians and cyclists should be aware that Wales and West Utilities is undertaking work on Courtlands Lane under a road closure. The road will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists, but cyclists are reminded to slow down along Courtlands Lane. The diversion adds around one mile to a normal journey along the trail.

Information boards have been located along the trail to advise users of the upcoming closure dates and information about the scheme.

The boardwalk replacement scheme is being undertaken by Bridge Civil Engineering Ltd on our behalf.

For more information go to our roads and transport webpages.