Beaminster Tunnel temporary closure for tree removal 21 and 22 July The A3066 will be closed through the Beaminster Tunnel from 7am tomorrow (21 July) until 5pm Wednesday 22 July so a dangerous oak tree can be removed from the northern slope of the tunnel.
Dorset County Council Arboricultural Team Leader Steve Maros explained:
‘It appears that the large oak tree has been hit by lightning, splitting its trunk in two. As the two halves move in the wind the split is extending further down towards the base of trunk. Eventually both halves will fall onto the top of the tunnel. This would damage the tunnel’s restraining mesh and the tunnel itself. We must remove the tree as soon as possible.’
The tree’s location makes removing it complex. At 8.30am tomorrow morning a large crane will be set up on the A3066 at the northern end of the tunnel to reach up the slope and lift off the tree in sections. The road will be closed from 7am tomorrow (21 July) until 5pm Wednesday 22 July at the latest while the work takes place.
Councillor Rebecca Knox, Dorset County Council member for Beaminster, said:
‘It’s a beautiful tree and it’s very sad that it has to come down, but it is unavoidable. The only way the crane and the team can work safely is on the road at the northern end of the tunnel, which means we need to close it while they remove the tree. Clearly, under normal conditions, we would have given people advance notice, but due to the urgency of the situation, we must remove the tree as quickly as possible. Unfortunately there will undoubtedly be some inconvenience to road users. We apologise for the inconvenience, but would like to reassure local people and visitors that the team will be doing its best to complete the dangerous and difficult work as quickly as possible.
During the temporary closure of the A3066 at the Beaminster Tunnel, the official diversion south will be signed as via Misterton Cross, along the A356 to Maiden Newton, the A37 to Dorchester, the A35 to Bridport and the A3066 to Beaminster (and vice-versa northbound). Find more information about local travel and transport at dorsetforyou.com/traveldorset.