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Death-trap tunnel's future to be decided

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 26, 2012

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Options on the future of a tunnel which killed two people when it collapsed in the summer will be revealed at a public meeting next month.

Dorset County Council engineers have been carrying out detailed analysis on the Beaminster Tunnel, which claimed the lives of Rosemary Snell, 67, and her companion Michael Rolfe, 72, when it came crashing down on top of their car after heavy rain on July 10. The road was closed, but their bodies were not discovered until ten days later.

Now, engineers are investigating whether a temporary shield could extend the tunnel, to open the road in the short term. They will report on October 18.

Cabinet holder for highways Councillor Peter Finney said: "We are working extremely hard to get the information we need to make the right choice for Beaminster Tunnel.

"With a structure like the Beaminster Tunnel, the possible solutions are not always apparent immediately. Our engineers need to undertake detailed examination to ensure they reach the best possible solution."

Specialists have been investigating the site and the hillside and existing tunnel. They have dug five bore holes up to 25 metres deep in the hill, investigated the foundations of the tunnel entrance walls and extracted samples.

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