WORK to protect homes from flooding in east Reading by carrying out major improvement works to Whiteknights Reservoir begins next week (w/c August 15th).
A revised flood protection scheme agreed by the Council earlier this year means Whiteknights Road will remain fully open for the vast majority of the works. A single lane closure with temporary traffic signals will be required for periods during the works to ensure they can be carried out safely.
Working hours will be typically 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. Advanced warning will be given if any weekend working is necessary, however this is not currently anticipated. Some local disruption is expected and road users are being asked to allow some extra time for journeys.
Whiteknights Lake is a 70,000m3 capacity reservoir positioned in University of Reading grounds. While Whiteknights Reservoir sits in Wokingham, it borders Whiteknights Road, which means by law Reading Borough Council is the statutory undertaker (*see notes).
The overall scheme incorporates a package of improvement and stabilisation works to the embankment, including the use of gabion baskets to protect local properties from any major flooding event in the future.
Traffic management measures will be in place for periods of the construction works. These measures will include a single lane closure with temporary traffic signals in Whiteknights Road. It is not expected that these measures will impact local bus routes or vehicle access. A short period of single lane closure will be in place during the first few weeks of the construction work to allow for site clearance. A longer period of traffic management will be in place later in the works during the construction of the flood wall and other related work. Advanced warning will be given of these works once the time period is known.
Cllr Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “This is an important scheme to ensure the immediate area around the reservoir can cope with a major flood event in the future. As well as stabilisation works to the embankment, the scheme will include enhanced landscaping works including new trees being planted within the allotment area, native hedgerow planted along the length of the new flood wall, also within the allotment, and honeysuckle creepers planted to grow over the gabion baskets in time. A number of trees have also recently been planted along Wokingham Road in conjunction with Whiteknights Reservoir scheme to enhance the local area.
“There will inevitably be a level of disruption for all road users while this important project progresses, but the expected disruption is minimal in comparison to the four month full closure of Whiteknights Road that had been planned. By redesigning the original scheme, we have minimised disruption for road users and local residents, and additionally made a substantial saving to the public purse.”
Notes for Editors:
While the reservoir itself sits in Wokingham, it borders Whiteknights Road, which is the borough boundary and Reading Borough Council land. It means under the Reservoirs Act 1975, Reading Borough Council is a Statutory Undertaker of the reservoir, and has a statutory obligation for the maintenance of the downstream reservoir embankment that is located in Reading.
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/mediareleases/