The A377 at Kingford in North Devon is currently closed until next Wednesday (28 July) while an essential stabilisation scheme gets underway.
The River Taw, which runs alongside the road on this stretch of the A377 south of Umberleigh, has eroded the embankment which supports the highway. This has seriously deteriorated the road, with around 40 metres of the south bound lane suffering cracking.
The site is being prepared for piling work, which will be carried out with temporary traffic lights in place from Thursday 29 July for around 13 weeks. Brief road closures may be needed for deliveries and the removal of material from the site but these will be kept to a minimum and dates will be displayed in advance on roadside signs.
Large natural stone will also be placed at the toe of the embankment in the river next summer to prevent it being undermined in future.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Public safety is of paramount importance and because there has been a very real risk of slippage on this section of the A377, one lane has had to be closed off for some time while investigation work has been carried out and the stabilisation scheme designed. Every effort is being made to keep disruption to a minimum but it’s essential this work is carried out and the road made safe.”
A Freshwater Pearl Mussel survey has been carried out to ensure that none are located in this section of the River Taw. Land ownership agreements and Environment Agency permission are in place in order to undertake work in the river.
While the road is currently closed a signed diversion is in place via Kingford Hill, B3217, B3227, A377 and vice versa.
A further two-week road closure will be needed toward the end of the scheme in November to complete resurfacing work.