Six weeks on from the unprecedented flooding in the North West region, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has completed a significant level of repair work to roads and rivers in the area.
Around 80% of closed roads are now reopened and 750 metres of flood defences repaired. The vast scale of the area affected is still requiring site assessments and repairs to be carefully prioritised, with priority being given to the busier routes and bridges, alongside other ongoing essential road maintenance work.
Additional funding amounting to almost £9million has been allocated for the repair of the flood damage to roads and bridges.
More than 200 roads were closed or impacted as a result of flooding. All A and B routes have been reopened with the exception of the B49 Church Street, Claudy where a bridge has partially collapsed; only a small number (13) of roads remain closed. All works have been prioritised and work will continue to reopen the remaining roads as soon as possible.
Road users are reminded to adhere to road signs and any temporary traffic management systems in place.
Around 600 bridges were affected by the flooding. Inspection of these has been a massive undertaking for the Department, but around half of this work has now been completed. While seventy bridges have been identified at this stage as being in need of repair, work at most of the bridges is not significant. This work will continue over the coming weeks and months to ensure the integrity of the bridges are maintained and public safety is not compromised.
Given the disruption associated with the Ballynameen Bridge, Claudy, repair of this bridge is being prioritised. Following engineering assessment and design work, the repairs will begin in the next few weeks. The work is expected to take around six months to complete. Given the need to keep the site accessible for repair work, it is not possible to install a temporary vehicular bridge. However, a temporary pedestrian bridge will be put in place to help to alleviate some of the inconvenience being caused by the road closure. A five mile diversion route via Learmount Road/Longland Road is currently in place, which takes around eight minutes.
Repair work is also continuing on the damaged flood defence infrastructure and watercourses in many areas.
Of the 1,800 metres of flood defences damaged almost 50% has now been repaired. Work has been undertaken at the Burndennet River and at the River Roe, and is continuing in numerous locations across the North West including the Faughan and Muff Rivers. Replacement water level monitoring equipment on the River Faughan, washed away due to the very high flows in this watercourse, will also be installed within the next month.
DfI staff continue to work with other Departments and partner organisations as the recovery continues, including participation in DAERA clinics to support and advise the rural community on how to reinstate the damage caused to rural watercourses that are not maintained by the Department.
The Department will continue to work with local communities at known flood risk to build resilience and has in place well established arrangements with other Departments and response organisations to provide multi-agency support to communities affected by flooding as required. In addition, a number of investigations into flooding events continue to determine if any viable flood alleviation works can be taken forward.
The latest roads information is available on www.trafficwatchni.com
Notes to editors:
1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or e-mail: email@example.com or out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
2. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra.