I have had an informal update on the Tunnel – there should be a formal notification with technical words on the www.dorsetforyou.com/beaminstertunnel website but I have had questions so I wanted to put something out as soon as possible.
Firstly, the rumour of September is only a rumour – June is still the month, when exactly will depend on what is found and the weather. All hours of day light are being used.
Pinning is underway and the walls of the tunnel on the south side are done so safe removal of the soil along the top can now start.
A big drain inside the tunnel has been completed and this will take water run off down some 200 meters so it flows into the natural river course, south side.
North side – pinning nails is in progress to stabilise the walls of the entrance, where the land is still steep and the walls need reinforcing – the exterior will look no different from before, but they need reinforcing behind and with pins.
You may have noticed what looks like a road laid up the north west side of the Tunnel slopes – this is a temporary laying down of a surface which the machines needed to pin the slopes can go up. When they tried getting up there without a more firm surface, the machines could not grip due to the water logged land, and slipped down. So the road looking section is in fact laid down for traction purposes.
On the north side slopes – soil extraction has been done but more work is needed to smooth the surface for the nails and netting to go in. There are some tree stumps that need shaving; they need working on with a machine that smoothes their tops so the netting and nails can go over them securely.
Nothing has stopped progress since the last update even though there are a few legal issues to sort out – the council has put in place a system that means work can progress, adapt and vary depending on what is discovered on the slopes. Work has not slowed up since the last update.
Due to things being discovered, the estimate is at present June. This is a unique situation – and is like a cliff face being pinned up. The Beaminster Tunnel website will be updated shortly, with pictures.
I press constantly for opening – I keep up the pressure and the questions. If you have any you want answered, let me know – you can do that on this site or email me firstname.lastname@example.org