Somerset politicians and officers at awards ceremony with trophy and William Hague.

Muchelney road-raising scheme wins top award

An ambitious scheme to reduce the impact of flooding on a Somerset village has won a prestigious national award.

Somerset County Council’s scheme to raise the road to Muchelney won the Effective Transport and Infrastructure Delivery Award in The Municipal Journal Achievement Awards 2015.

The scheme, which saw 500m of road to the village raised by up to 1.3 metres in places, was praised as an “innovative engineering solution”. It was completed in just five months.

The council was one of six local authorities shortlisted for the award, which the team received at a black tie ceremony in London on Thursday 18 June.

Former Conservative MP William Hague presented the awards on the night to the winning team (pictured above).

The Muchelney road-raising project was funded by the Department for Transport and undertaken as part of the multi-agency 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which is now overseen by Somerset Rivers Authority.

Reflecting on the award, Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council and Chairman of Somerset Rivers Authority, said: “This is a truly fantastic achievement for everyone involved in the scheme to raise the road to Muchelney.

“That this work has been recognised in this way is testament to the power of partnerships in delivering the 20 Year Flood Action Plan. We are all proud to have been able to complete this project, and in such a short period of time for the community of Muchelney, and are committed to continuing our work to reduce the impact of flooding in the future.”

Most of Muchelney escaped the severe flooding that affected Somerset in early 2014. However, the village was cut-off for around ten weeks when all four of the roads into the village were submerged.

To prevent this happening again, the county council led a project that raised a half-kilometre stretch of road so that it can stay open even in the event of flooding on the same scale as the winter of 2013-14. Delivered by the council’s highways contractor Skanska, work started in September 2014. In February 2015 the local community and partners helped the county council re-open the road with a celebratory event.

Somerset Rivers Authority partners are: The Environment Agency, Mendip District Council, Natural England, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, South Somerset District Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, The Axe/Brue Internal Drainage Board, The Parrett Internal Drainage Board, Wessex Regional Flood & Coastal Committee, West Somerset Council.

Photo used by kind permission of The Municipal Journal.

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