500m of road into Muchelney (pictured above) was raised by up to 1.3 metres in just five months. The road’s elevation means it could stay open even through floods as bad as those experienced in the winter of 2014.
The scheme was conceived as part of Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan, now overseen by Somerset Rivers Authority.
The Somerset County Council-led scheme was short-listed in the Construction and Engineering Project of the Year category of the National Transport Awards, just months after winning the Effective Transport and Infrastructure Delivery Award at The MJ (Municipal Journal) Achievement Awards.
Works were completed on budget and the road reopened in February with a celebratory event enjoyed by the local community and those involved in the project.
Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council and Chair of Somerset Rivers Authority, said: “It was a tremendous honour to see our work at Muchelney mentioned alongside major nationally significant projects such as Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2, the Manchester Airport Metrolink Line and the London Underground’s Northern Line.
“Not only were we mentioned alongside them, we also went head to head with them and were highly commended for our efforts.
“I’m incredibly proud of the scheme we delivered in Muchelney, within budget and in just five months. However, nice as it is to be recognised on a national level, the real satisfaction comes from knowing we have taken steps to hopefully prevent one of our communities being cut off again in future.”
The Muchelney road-raising project was delivered by the Council’s highways contractor Skanska and funded by the Department for Transport.
Ed Hartley, Project Manager at Skanska, said: “It’s a huge honour to be highly commended for our work at Muchelney, especially considering the calibre of the other candidates. We used innovative approaches and our strong relationships with our local supply chain to deliver this scheme, which meant it could be completed in less than half the time it would usually take. It’s great to see that recognised and we hope the completed scheme will make a real difference to people’s lives.”