Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “Now the work is complete, Hambledon’s residents and businesses will see significant long-term benefits. The images we remember of the roads completely flooded, for several months, by groundwater following the exceptional rainfall during the winter of 2013/14, are a thing of the past. I’m pleased we have been able to put this level of investment into a small community like Hambledon, and work through complicated construction - engineering a major scheme in a small space in the middle of a community, while trying not to interrupt daily life.”
Work began in the summer of 2015 on the ‘big pipe’, to make Hambledon more resilient to the impact of flooding in the future, by keeping floodwater from the roads. One of the first Hampshire schemes put forward by the County Council for Government funding after the floods of 2013/2014, it was primarily financed by Hampshire County Council, with a significant contribution from national flood defence funding through the Environment Agency, and a further local contribution from Winchester City Council.
Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “This scheme to install major culverts underneath the main road through the centre of Hambledon is an excellent example of what can be achieved by working collaboratively with our partners - the Environment Agency and Winchester City Council. It was a considerable undertaking, but one which will benefit the community for many years to come.”
The bespoke scheme included the installation of a new underground pipe providing new floodwater culverts, pump points, road resurfacing and ditch clearance. Over the last few months, the scheme has been completed, with the road resurfaced and extra work to treat pavements to protect from water ingress, and the whole drainage system thoroughly cleansed.
The Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Advisor Ian Miller said: “This is a great example of how Government flood defence funding can be used to contribute to local authority projects to reduce flood risk in communities.”
The scheme has involved improving the network of drainage in Hambledon by widening and deepening the ditches and providing larger pipes beneath property accesses; new floodwater culverts under Lower West Street (B2150), West Street and East Street; reconstruction of sections of the road; resurfacing of the all the main roads; new kerbing where practical, and treatment of footways to seal and protect it from water ingress.
The scheme was constructed by Mildren Construction Ltd. Mildren are one of Hampshire County Council’s framework contractors.