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12 March 2014, 08:49
It's expected to cost between £25 million and £36 million to repair Hampshire's flood and storm-damaged roads.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council, has welcomed the Government's acknowledgement that more money is needed to help repair roads damaged by the unprecedented floods this winter, and the promise of extra funding.
However, he warned that the full extent of the damage had not yet been assessed as many parts of Hampshire's road network are still under water because groundwater levels have not fallen.
Winchester, Romsey and Hambledon are among the worst affected areas, with some roads still shut as a result.
"We don't yet know what Hampshire's share of the £140m national funding is, but our estimate is that, to fix the extensive winter damage on Hampshire's roads would cost between £25m and £36m.
"We have 5,280 miles of road in Hampshire to take care of - many of which have suffered prolonged flooding while all of Hampshire has experienced extremely heavy rainfall over many weeks. Excessive water seeping into the road surface, followed by freezing overnight temperatures, causes it to break up from underneath, causing damage, and creating defects and potholes which are costly to repair.
"During the flooding, we've been working around the clock to keep the roads open, clearing water and fallen trees, and, in some instances, building temporary roads above flooding to keep major routes open where it is possible to do this. We are now looking at plans for resurfacing the worst affected roads and pavements, drainage works and edge repairs. Once the river levels have subsided, we will be using underwater divers to assess the damage to bridge structures and see what needs to be done there.
"We are committed to keeping Hampshire moving, and will, as soon as we can, assess the damage to the road network, prioritise what needs to be done first, and programme in the works."