The storm-damaged A591 in Cumbria was reopened today (Wednesday 11 May) – three weeks sooner than originally planned.
Highways England worked with Cumbria County Council on the project to repair a four-mile stretch of the A591, which links Grasmere to Keswick, after it was badly damaged in December’s storms.
The project has been completed almost three weeks ahead of schedule allowing holidaymakers to use the road during the spring Bank Holiday and May half term.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The A591 is vital for tourism, business and residents in Cumbria so I am pleased Highways England has delivered this challenging project almost three weeks ahead of schedule, and in time for the Bank Holiday.
“I am pleased to have met some of the 100 workers who worked so hard on this project so that the Lake District is fully open for business this summer.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart added: “I am absolutely delighted to be able to open this road on behalf of the government. We took over this project – unusually – because of the extreme flood damage.
“The work to open the A591 early shows how we are standing firmly behind communities hit by December’s flooding with investment in infrastructure, new flood defences and promoting the region across the world. I am delighted Highways England has managed to do this at such high quality in very difficult circumstances.”
A new 106 metre retaining wall has been constructed at Dunmail Raise, where part of the A591 was washed away in the storms, and repairs have been carried out on three bridges, seven other retaining walls and 91 drains alongside Thirlmere reservoir.
A total of 44,000 square metres of the road has been resurfaced – equivalent to the area of six football pitches – and rock netting has been fitted along a 90 metre stretch of the A591 to prevent rocks falling onto the road.