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Forder Valley culvert complete

Installation of Forder Valley culvert

Work to install the new 160-metre culvert that will carry the Bircham stream through the Forder Valley is now complete.

The new culvert, which will run below ground and lead to an ecology pond, is one of the environmental improvements being made as part of the Forder Valley Link Road scheme.

A team of engineering experts and ecologists worked closely with the Environment Agency and Natural England to design the culvert so it would replicate a natural habitat for the wildlife to help their transit.

It looks more like a natural water channel than the previous culvert and includes ledges to help otters and other wildlife travel to and from the Forder Valley Nature Reserve.

Rocks are being placed in the bottom of the culvert to mimic a natural riverbed along with fish resting pools. A security screen will also be provided to stop rubbish entering the culvert.

A 135-tonne crane lifted the 80 25-tonne precast concrete sections of the culvert into place in just under six weeks. The culvert is around 2.75 metres high and 3.7 metres wide inside and the sections will now be sealed before the stream is diverted through, ready for when the junction is relocated and the road level raised. The culvert will be covered over and the area landscaped as part of the works.

Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene said: “We promised we would do all we can to ensure any loss to the natural environment in building the new road is more than compensated for. This new culvert will be better for otters and other wildlife travelling along the valley and help us to create better landscaping.”

A new area of recreational land will be provided as part of the scheme, along with an extension to the nearby local nature reserve and links from the new road to paths within the planned Derriford Community Park, connecting local residents and road users with the natural environment.