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50 million litres of water pumped off the flooded A14 at Newmarket





Highways engineers have had to pump more than 50 million litres of water from the A14 at Newmarket.

A 200-metre section dip in the carriageway has been causing delays for drivers since February, after the wettest autumn and winter since records began meant it was frequently submerged.

There has been disruption since February 22 on the eastbound carriageway, between junctions 37 and 38.

When the flooding was at its worst earlier this year
When the flooding was at its worst earlier this year

One of three lanes remained closed this week while pumping continued.

A spokeswoman for National Highways said she had no update on the situation but the organisation and its contractors were meeting today for further discussions.

When the road first became flooded workers manually pumped the water into tankers. Since then, permanent pumps have replaced them and have been operating 24 hours a day to get the water levels down.

Workers have been trying to solve flooding problems on the A14 since February
Workers have been trying to solve flooding problems on the A14 since February

Martin Fellows, from National Highways, said: “We’ve seen unprecedented levels of rain in this area for several months now.

“There has been 300 per cent more rain falling than normal, leading to seriously high water levels. As soon as we've been able to pump water off the carriageway, it’s returned just as quickly.”

“We've pumped somewhere in the region of 50 million litres of water away from the carriageway in the last two months.

“That's the equivalent of about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“But unfortunately as soon as we remove the water and pump it away, the groundwater levels are so high that the water is returning and the flooding is returning again.”

“This is very much weather dependent and we have to make sure we pump the water away in an environmentally friendly way.

“We've put in around a mile-and-a-half of additional piping and are pumping water back towards junction 37 on the A14 near Newmarket. But it takes time.

“We understand the public's frustration and ask that they remain tolerant. We'd also ask that people respect the temporary speed limit whilst work continues.

“In the longer term, we’ll be looking at ways of ensuring this cannot happen again."

Since the flooding first appeared the area has become infamous even receiving its own TripAdvisor reviews.