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Slope stability investigations to start soon on Dorset highway

Ground investigations are due to start at the end of the month on the slopes alongside the C13 at Melbury Abbas, near Shaftesbury following stability concerns that closed the road earlier this year.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been commissioned by Dorset County Council (DCC) to carry out a geotechnical investigation and prepare an options report to mitigate the risk of landslip at Dinah’s Hollow. ESG will be carrying out site investigation work, which is currently planned to start on 30 June. 

The C13 at Dinah’s Hollow has been closed since 3 April for site surveys, between junctions with School Lane and the B3081, and the council has taken the opportunity to carry out utility repairs that do not interfere with the slope.

Site exploration will take approximately three weeks and inform the team as to whether more in-depth surveys using boreholes are needed to obtain soil samples for testing.

DCC has said that the 15m high slope on one side of the road, which runs in a cutting at Dinah’s Hollow, has a potential slip volume of 750t, and the 10m slope on the opposite side of the cutting has a potential of 380t slip, posing serious risks to road users.

DCC has said that consent from third-party land owners, amount of work needed and any constraints relating to protected species, will define the slope stabilisation options and the timescale of work.

A similar set of investigations will also be undertaken by the church in Melbury Abbas, as the rock embankment has seen a number of rock falls and a solution to stabilise this area is also needed.

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