Beaminster Tunnel Reopens
8:17am 29th July 2013
(Updated 11:38am 29th July 2013)
Horn Hill Tunnel, popularly known as the Beaminster Tunnel repoens at 10 o'clock this morning.
The road, the A3066 between Beaminster with Crewkerne has been closed since the landslip caused by heavy rain last July which brought tons of soil and rubble through the roof, blocking the road.
Two people from Somerset, Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe, were in a car travelling back from an evening in Beaminster when they entered the tunnel. The car was crushed and they were entombed. It was another 10 days before their bodies were discovered.
Since then, wrangles over who owns the land and poor weather have made progress to repair the tunnel slow.
The project, costing £2.1 million is now almost complete. all the soil nailing and mesh to retain the slopes has been completed and the head wall that was destroyed in the land slip has been rebuilt. The walls at both ends have been protected with additional concrete walls constructed behind them. The walls on the approaches have also been stabalised.
Temporary traffic lights will be in place to protect the workforce as they finish off work. Wild lowers will be sown into the earth so it will be a while before they improve the look to the approaches, according to Dorset County Council Cabinet member for environment, Hilary Cox.
The blockage has been costly to businesses as well as inconveneint to locals, who've had to endure a long diversion.
The town lost passing trade. Masterchef winner Mat Follas was so fed up of waiting for the road to be re-opened he relocated away from Beaminster.
Beaminster county councillor Rebecca Knox, has welcomed the news that the tunnel's re-opening.
No formal re-opening ceremony has been planned, as it was felt it would be inappropriate to celebrate, given that two people lost their lives in the tragedy, just over a year ago.