The bank of the River Stour bordering the A357, between the bridge and the turning to Sturminster Newton Mill, is slipping into the river. To prevent the road subsiding, we will be strengthening the riverbank this autumn 2023.

Some planning work needs to take place in July. From September to November, we will be drilling soil nails through the bank to secure it into the bedrock.

See further details below.

During the works, the eastbound lane of the A357 be closed. There will be traffic signals in place and we will work hard to minimise disruption. However, please allow extra time for your journey.

Council officers have been working with the town council, those directly affected by the works and local ward councillors, Cllr Carole Jones and Cllr Pauline Batstone, to ensure the stabilisation and the traffic management goes smoothly.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We have listened to feedback from the town council, local groups and the Dorset Councillors for the area when planning this important stabilisation work, and we are grateful for their support. Our team will work hard to keep disruption to a minimum, and we thank everyone for their patience while a safer area is created for all”.

From 24 July for one week

An eastbound stretch of the road will be closed with traffic management in place.

This is to enable us to remove the Willow trees on the bank slope so we can prepare for the soil nailing. If left, the Willow trees’ roots would interfere with the soil nails. We intend to offer an equal number of trees to the town council for planting elsewhere.

Before we start this work, the trees will be surveyed. If birds are nesting, we will delay removal of the trees until nesting has finished.

We will also take the opportunity to repair and maintain the gabions (baskets of stones along the edge of the riverbank that prevent erosion).

From 11 September 2023 until late November

We plan to drill 327 soil nails, of between 8 and 12 metres long, through the riverbank to secure it to the bedrock.

We will use a drilling method to minimise vibration. It will not be done through piling. However, we will still closely monitor the process for vibration.

To carry out this work, we will close an eastbound stretch of the A357 bordering the river with temporary 3-way signals in place.

Before the work starts, we will clear detritus from the pavement that runs along the south side of the road.

Our team of specialists will carry out the work in partnership with Hanson and their contractors.

Once the work is complete, the bank will be seeded with wildflowers.

Keep up-to-date and find more details on our web page.

We are funding these essential works with an approximate budget of £1.3 million.

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