Coast road cracks up then washes away in rain
A SCENIC coastal road has been closed indefinitely after part of it was washed away by rain, leaving a gaping hole.
Torrential downpours caused deep cracks to appear on Old Beer Road in Seaton, Devon, last week.
However, further rain saw the road drop by more than three feet in just 24 hours – and experts fear it could collapse even further.
Devon County Council is urging all drivers and walkers to stay away from the road and its footpath, which overlooks Seaton Bay. Barriers that were first erected on Wednesday – when the cracks began to appear – have been moved back and strengthened to prevent any access.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said structural damage could result in more of the road being lost.
He said: “The whole road has fallen away. On Wednesday there were a few cracks in the road surface. The county council closed the road to do some tests and take a closer look at it. Within 24 hours, the road had started to sink.
“It dropped even further over the weekend and it is now about six feet deep, there is just this huge drop down. It covers half the road, it is about eight feet across.
“But as well as the drop, it is pushing out towards the sea. The whole thing is just slipping now. If the wet weather continues further damage could be caused so it is not safe for people to get too close.”
Mr Hughes said the road had been resurfaced two months ago and had been “surface dressed”, which was supposed to protect it from water for up to ten years.
The road is used by tourist coaches for the view of the Jurassic Coast, as well as local traffic.
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