SRA works in Frome will strengthen river banks, lessen flood risks

Somerset Rivers Authority is funding work to repair the river banks in Frome town centre and reduce flood risks to about 300 properties.

The improvements to worn-away parts of Frome’s flood defences are due to start on around Monday, 9 July and carry on into early August. The works along the River Frome from Town Bridge down past Welshmill Weir are being delivered for Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) by the Environment Agency, using contractors Land & Water.

An amphibious excavator will be used to remove broken-off chunks of concrete from the river bed, and to put rocks in place to protect the river banks. A tug boat and hopper will carry materials along the Frome. Frome Canoe Club are removing their slalom poles to allow for easier and safer journeys up and down the river.

Cllr John Osman, Chair of Somerset Rivers Authority, said: “There’s been lots of good local involvement in this project, from community groups, Frome Town Council, Mendip District Council, Wessex Water and Network Rail. The result is a series of activities that will help to protect the heart of Frome.

“The last time repairs were done here was more than 10 years ago. Big improvements can now be made because of the way the SRA is funded by the people of Somerset to get more done to meet local needs.”

Works are focused on strengthening the Frome’s revetment: that is, the fortified layer designed to shield river banks from erosion, especially on bends hit hardest during storms and times of high flow. Stable banks mean the river can safely carry more water away and so reduce flood risks.

The three main activities are:

  • Repairing the stone revetment around the outfalls between Town Bridge and Jenson Button Bridge
  • Installing rock armour on the right edge of the river bed between Jenson Button Bridge and the railway bridge
  • Repointing the mortar on stone revetments below the railway bridge and downstream of Welshmill Weir

John Rowlands of the Environment Agency said: “While Frome has not experienced serious flooding from the River itself since the flood alleviation scheme was constructed in the early 1970s, this work will ensure that the flood risk through the town continues to be managed.”

Anyone with questions about the works should contact the Environment Agency – email or call 03708 506 506.

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