The storm-damaged A591 in Cumbria was reopened today (Wednesday 11 May) by Environment Minister Rory Stewart.

The road suffered extensive storm damage in December’s storms and Highways England worked with Cumbria County Council on the project to repair a four-mile stretch of the road, which links Grasmere to Keswick.

The project has been completed almost three weeks ahead of schedule allowing holidaymakers to use the road during the spring Bank Holiday and May half term.

Floods Minister Stewart said: “I am absolutely delighted to be able to open this road on behalf of the government. We took over this project – unusually – because of the extreme flood damage.

“The work to open the A591 early shows how we are standing firmly behind communities hit by December’s flooding with investment in infrastructure, new flood defences and promoting the region across the world. I am delighted Highways England has managed to do this at such high quality in very difficult circumstances.”

A new 106 metre retaining wall has been constructed at Dunmail Raise, where part of the A591 was washed away in the storms, and repairs have been carried out on three bridges, seven other retaining walls and 91 drains alongside Thirlmere reservoir.

A total of 44,000 square metres of the road has been resurfaced – equivalent to the area of six football pitches – and rock netting has been fitted along a 90 metre stretch of the A591 to prevent rocks falling onto the road.