A379 at Slapton set to re-open

A379 Slapton

Posted on: 22 October 2018

Work to reinstate the A379 at Slapton has been completed and the road is due to open to the public on the evening of Tuesday 23 October.

The link between Slapton and Strete Gate was washed away by Storm Emma in early March.

Following a number of environmental and unexploded ordnance surveys, contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd started work on the road in July.

Two sections of the road have been realigned, with planning permission updated on the northern section of the realignment, moving it further inland to the north and west, than originally proposed.

The junction at Sands Road, Slapton, has also been moved inland by around 10 metres.

Devon County Council Leader John Hart said:

“We said we would get on with the job of reconnecting this link as quickly as possible, and it has been achieved in a short time. We have a road that is now more resilient in its new alignment. Additional measures are being undertaken in the area to improve the protection of this road. Every effort is being made to extend the lifespan of this road but we have to accept that it may become increasingly difficult in future.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:

“This scheme has been treated with the highest priority.  Great care has been taken due to the environmental sensitivity of the area, and we’ve worked closely with the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Field Studies Council to ensure that wildlife, such as slow worms and lizards, is preserved.  And we’ve responded positively to get the road re-opened within seven months of it having been washed away. I’m sure the communities will be pleased that this route has been re-connected.”

Councillor Julian Brazil, local County Councillor for Kingsbridge and South Hams District Councillor, said:

“This is good news. Thank you to all involved. The worry must be that Storm Callum was almost another disaster for the road. We must make sure we have realistic contingency plans in place for when the road goes for good.”

Councillor Richard Foss, South Hams District Council Ward Member for Allington and Strete, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that the replacement of this road has been achieved so quickly.  Local residents and businesses rely heavily on the ease of access between Strete Gate and Torcross and although we know that we can’t hold back the tide indefinitely, it is a huge benefit to keep it open while we can.  Thank you to all of the agencies who have co-operated with Devon County Council’s Highways team through the Slapton Line Partnership.”

The South West Coast Path, which was temporarily diverted onto the beach, has now also been re-routed between the newly aligned road and the fringe of the Higher Ley.

Work is also currently underway to repair and upgrade a 70 metre stretch of an existing sea defence immediately north of Torcross. A new sheet pile wall is being installed to improve resilience to the A379, complementing the realignment works. This builds on the emergency work undertaken to the remainder of this old sea wall in early 2016.

This work is expected to be completed before Christmas, and two-way traffic lights will be in place opposite the ‘Tank’ car park until repairs are finished.  Access to the car park will be unaffected.

An official opening of the road will be held on Friday 26 October.

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