Flood risk reduction work to begin in Datchet

Image of Datchet with the words Datchet Barrel Arch clearance work

Important work to reduce flood risk in Datchet by clearing silt from a Victorian underground watercourse, is set to begin on Monday 10 July.

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has commissioned contractors to remove a thick layer of silt lying on the bottom of the brick-built Datchet Barrel Arch running underneath the centre of the village.

Temporary traffic lights will be used to manage traffic along the B376 Slough Road, London Road, and Horton Road, to allow the route to remain open. However, some temporary disruption is to be expected.

For the work to be carried out safely, contractors will work in small sections which will be on a single side of the road at any one time. 

Access to the 1.1 metre diameter drain will be through manholes which are staggered between Churchmead School, Priory Way, and Green Lane.

The work begins on Monday 10 July and is scheduled to continue until Wednesday 16 August.

The silt has built up over a number of years and fills almost a third of the Barrell Arch. This limits its capacity in the event of rainfall.

With the removal of the silt, capacity will increase so more water can be dispersed via the underground culvert. The water flows into the Datchet Common Brook and then into the River Thames. The work will also involve a structural inspection by a camera robot.

The work is part of the Datchet to Hythe End Flood Improvement Measures. 

The arch is the responsibility of several landowners who own the section directly below their land. This includes sections owned by the Royal Borough, which has taken on the work to clean out the length of the arch. 

Councillor Richard Coe, cabinet member for Environmental Services, said: “I really welcome this work which is being carried out to help reduce flood risk to residents’ homes and local businesses at times of high rainfall. 

“The work will bring some temporary disruption for road users who need to cross the village green, but we will strive to keep this to a minimum.

“The work requires dry weather to be undertaken, so that the water in the culvert is at a minimum, which is why it is being undertaken at this time.”

The work is weather dependent, with the summer offering longer dry periods to be able to remove the silt. 

The silt cannot be effectively removed with water in the arch. If wet weather slows down the work, contractors will finish on August 16 and return at a later date to complete it.