Lancashire County Council has announced a £5 million programme to repair transport infrastructure damaged in the December floods, funded by the Department for Transport.
The December floods were unprecedented in their widespread impact across the county and the county’s highways and other transport infrastructure, including roads, bridges and footpaths, suffered significant damage.
The initial estimate of the repair cost stands at £5 million although this may increase once underwater structural examinations and cost estimates for road repairs have been completed. The county council is working closely with the Department for Transport should additional monies be required.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “As well as causing great distress to those people whose homes and businesses were flooded, the damage wrought by the December flooding also caused significant damage to the county’s transport infrastructure, particularly our highways and bridges. That damage continues to cause real inconvenience to a great many people and businesses.
“Our engineers have been working flat-out to identify the damage and look at how it can be put right. The £5 million provided by central government will enable us to get on with repairs to our top ten priority projects, those which are causing the biggest problems.
“Many of the damaged roads and bridges belong to private landowners. We have been contacting these landowners and working hard to help them identify sources of funding which may be available to help them make the necessary repairs.”
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re determined to stand squarely behind communities whose lives were turned upside down by the recent floods – including getting key infrastructure back up and running.
“That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops to help Lancashire get major roads and bridges fixed, making sure local residents and businesses get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
Work has already started on several of the priority infrastructure assets, and work to repair the Gressingham Road, which was damaged by a landslip, has been completed, although the road remains closed due to damage to the Loyn Bridge at Hornby, which is another of the priority projects.
The full cost of repairing key local transport infrastructure will not be known until the full assessment of the damage has been completed. In the event that the total estimated cost is in excess of £5 million a request will be made to the Department for Transport for additional funding to be considered.