More than £9m set to be spent on fixing crack-prone Rothbury road

Major repairs to safeguard a stretch of road between Weldon Bridge and Rothbury for future generations will start this year.

By Amanda Bourn
Friday, 28th January 2022, 4:25 pm
Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for local services and Shillbottle councillor Trevor Thorne at the site of the landslip.
Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for local services and Shillbottle councillor Trevor Thorne at the site of the landslip.

The complex scheme to tackle the active landslip at Todstead on the B6344 is estimated to cost £9.3m – subject to approval by full council at its budget setting meeting in February.The landslip is caused by the complex geology of the valley and is an extremely difficult site to repair, due to the physical constraints of the site and the environmental requirements when working closely to the River Coquet.A comprehensive ground investigation involving deep boreholes was carried out last year, which in itself was complex due to the high water pressures engineers were dealing with.Following the comprehensive land survey, initial design work has been completed by specialist consultants and contractors on a long-term solution for the landslip.It is expected this will be completed by April and following a procurement exercise to secure a main works construction contractor, work at the site could start by the middle of this year, with the major construction project then expected to take around 60 weeks.Detailed traffic management arrangements will be developed with the main works contractor once the construction programme has been firmed up, and then widely publicised.Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for local services at the county council, explained: “This is one of the most complex schemes our expert engineers have dealt, with but it’s clear we need a long-term solution which will protect this road for future generations.“Some disruption to traffic will be inevitable, but we’ll be doing all we can to keep this to a minimum and ensure clear diversion routes are in place where necessary.“I want to thank people in advance for their patience while we carry out this vital repair work which is crucial to avoid losing this section of road altogether in the future.”Shilbottle Councillor Trevor Thorne, whose division covers Todstead, said: “I know how well-used this road us and the amount of time and effort that has gone in to finding a long-term solution.“I hope local residents will understand that a comprehensive repair is the best and only option to tackle this landslip once and for all.”

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