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Collapse fears close major Dorset route

Concern over the potential for a culvert to collapse has led to the closure of the A30 through Sherborne in Dorset until at least the end of June.

Dorset County Council’s (DCC) highways division said that the closure was necessary to allow emergency repairs to be undertaken.

Road works at the site started in early May to replace a section of culvert and install a larger manhole access point but initial work revealed a much larger problem at the site. In a statement, DCC said: “During the initial work to pinpoint services engineers found large sections missing from the roof of the culvert under the eastbound carriageway”.

DCC head of highways Andrew Martin added: “In several places in the culvert you can see the corrugated underside of the road structure above. It’s only held up by the strength of the arch on either side of the failure, and now that we have found this damage there’s just no question of us leaving it.

“We’ll now be replacing the entire section of culvert under the road and pavements as well as our original planned work to install a manhole cover large enough for future inspections. We’ll also be carrying out as much maintenance as possible while the road is closed, including resurfacing approaches to the junction, cleaning stone work and clearing drains.”

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