Drivers will be able to get back on the road along the Farringdon to Chawton section of the A32 sooner than originally planned when the latest phase of Hampshire County Council’s flood alleviation work ends in mid-September
While the scheme is largely complete, some unexpected challenges in terms of ground conditions and resource availability have meant that some of the work needs to be reprogrammed for next Spring (2023). The County Council’s intention is to coordinate the outstanding works with already planned highways maintenance in the same location, if possible.
Councillor Jan Warwick, Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability at the County Council, said: “I’m pleased to say that with the scheme largely complete, residents and businesses in Chawton and Farringdon, as well as users of the A32, are now better protected from the impacts of groundwater flooding.
Commenting on the road opening, Councillor Nick Adams-King, the County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, said: “While I’m sure that residents and businesses will welcome news that the road will be opening sooner than expected, I also understand that the prospect of the road needing to close again for a few weeks next year, so that outstanding works can be completed, will be frustrating. However, I know that in their planning, our engineers are doing all they can to keep disruption to a minimum and ensuring this section of the A32 is closed for no longer than is absolutely necessary – taking care to avoid school holidays as far as possible and maintaining access for residents and businesses throughout.”
Councillor Warwick added: “I’d like to reiterate that the future success of any flood alleviations works will be dependent still upon private landowners also playing an active role, by regularly maintaining drains, pipes and ditches on their land, to keep them clear.”
This second phase of works to alleviate flooding between the village crossroads and north to Boundary House; and subsequently, between Farringdon Industrial Centre and north to the village crossroads, began on 27 June.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce the risk of flooding from a combination of surface water and groundwater. The £1.18m scheme is funded from the County Council’s Flood Risk and Coastal Defence (FRCD) Programme budget, Defra Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) and Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) Local Levy.
An initial package of flood prevention measures was undertaken between 2018 and 2020 at an investment of over £350,000 for Lower Farringdon and Chawton. The phase one work package involved groundworks connecting ditches, drains and soakaways.