150 Roads And Bridges Still In Need Of Repair After 2015’s Storm Desmond

Many bridges in Cumbria need concrete structure repairs while roads might require a lot of work to fix flood damage in the wake of Storm Desmond.

The BBC reported that nearly 150 roads and bridges in the north-west county have still not been fixed despite the storm occurring in 2015, nearly four years ago.

Although 830 projects have already taken place, another 115 are currently happening and as many as 32 have yet to begin.

The local authority told the news provider a “huge amount” of work is required to complete all the repairs, and this is likely to continue into 2020.

Cabinet member for highways and transport at the county council Keith Little said work had been taking place to fix damage caused by the 2009 floods, but this had not been completed when Storm Desmond hit six years later.

He stated: “Because there was a huge amount of work to be done and we have the day-to-day maintenance of the country’s roads to continue, at the moment we have about 115 projects in progress.”

One of the most recent projects for the council was repairing the road between Gaitsgill and Raughton Head.

After a landslip occurred here, this task became a priority, with Mr Little adding it was a “fairly big job”.

It took a long time to assess the damage before the road was moved entirely 20 metres away from the river. This caused issues with the landowners and a lot of legal issues ensued. Despite this, the project finally finished recently and the road has now been re-opened.

Another major job for the council is repairing the bridge in Burneside near Kendal. Major amendments are being carried out on the structure, resulting in a six-mile diversion for commuters who cannot use it while it is closed.

Speaking to the news provider, businessman John Seward said the diversion to get from one side of the village to the other is such a big deterrent for drivers that the area feels like “two broken halves”.

He added: “People are not passing through. It’s like a ghost village.”

The local authority has already spent £86 million to repair damage since the storm in December 2015 and is expected to have to spend more to fix the remaining damage.

Cumbria was badly hit by the thunderstorm, with a record-breaking amount of rain falling in Honister between December 4th and 5th. The Met Office confirmed the 13.4 inches (341.4mm) of rain that fell in the 24-hour period here was greater than during any other storm on record.

The gale was so strong, over 100 bridges needed inspecting to ascertain whether they had been damaged or destroyed in the days and weeks following. Roads in the areas that were affected the most were immediately closed to prevent people from passing through and getting stuck in the floods.

As well as road and bridge damage, more than 5,200 residential properties were flooded throughout Cumbria and Lancashire, while tens of thousands experienced a loss of electricity. This included Lancaster University, which closed for the rest of the term following the power cuts.