A MAJOR road in Dorset has shut yet again due to emergency sewer repairs – with a 27.8-mile diversion in place.

Vital repairs are taking place on the A357 Blandford Road in Shillingstone, near Blandford Forum, after the road was initially closed to repair a collapsed sewer.

The section of the A-road between the two junctions of Church Road is closed in both directions again, after previously being closed by Wessex Water in mid-January.

The road closure, on the A357 between Durweston Bridge to Bridge Street in Sturminster Newton, will be in place until Sunday, February 21. Wessex Water says it will be "working extended hours and at weekends" in a bid to complete the repairs on schedule.

Customers’ sewerage services will not be affected and access will remain for residents and emergency vehicles.

Salisbury Journal: The A357 in Shillingstone is shut again due to sewer repairs. Picture: Google/Travel DorsetThe A357 in Shillingstone is shut again due to sewer repairs. Picture: Google/Travel Dorset

Extra signage will be in place, with Wessex Water workers at either end of the diversion to ensure vehicles follow the advised alternative route.

A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “We had hoped to permanently repair and line the sewer during the initial road closure, but unfortunately this wasn’t possible due to the location and extent of the damage.

“We’d like to apologise again for any disruption to essential journeys or inconvenience for local people. We’ll do everything we can to complete these essential repairs as quickly as possible.” 

Travel Dorset has published the official diversion route online, which will take 48 minutes to follow the 27.8-mile route.

The reason for the length of the diversion is because the closure is on an A-road and therefore any official alternative route must use the same class of road.

Alternatively, there are a number of shorter but unofficial routes that drivers can take to avoid the road closure. These are not suitable for HGVs and should be avoided if using larger machinery.

Salisbury Journal: The road closure and diversion route.The road closure and diversion route.

Residents and businesses in the area have been notified of the roadworks and subsequent road closure and diversion route.

Dorset Council warns that any person who breaches the road closure could be convicted or face a fine, not exceeding £1,000.

The diversion route will be signposted on the road.

Anyone with any concerns or wish to discuss issues regarding the roadworks can contact Dorset Council online.

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