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Next steps to deliver major repairs to county’s 200-year-old retaining walls

Published: 14 September 2023

Plans to deliver major targeted repairs to the county’s 200-year-old retaining walls along the A6, will be discussed at next week’s Cabinet meeting (21 September 2023).

The walls, along a 4-mile stretch of the A6 between Matlock and Whatstandwell, are used by 10,000 motorists every day and support the road along the banks of the river Derwent.

We successfully secured funding from the government’s Levelling Up Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund to help pay for repairs.

Councillors will be informed that detailed site investigations have helped to identify priority sites for repair, using a range of techniques including:

  • rebuilding, repointing and the replacement of damaged stones, using local sourced Derbyshire stone
  • installing new, hidden steel ground anchors up to 6 metres long to reinforce the walls, providing additional strength and stability
  • drainage improvements to reduce flooding and damage to the foundations of the retaining walls

Councillor Charlotte Cupit, Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport said:

“Our retaining walls are a key part of our county’s road infrastructure but remain unseen by the many thousands of people who use them.

“The significant financial award from the Levelling Up Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund has enabled us to look in detail at how best to carry out repairs to the walls, targeting works at those sections most in need of attention.

“The initial work we have carried out has enabled us to build up a very clear picture of the condition and construction of the walls and I’m looking forward to work starting on site next year.”

“We will plan the works carefully to keep disruption to a minimum for local road users.”

Subject to approval by Cabinet, contracts to undertake the works – worth around £2 million – will be let in the autumn with work expected to start on site in early 2024.

Initial preparatory works are due to start later this year including stone masonry works like grouting, replacing coping stones and general maintenance which will be carried out by our in-house construction services team.

We are responsible for approximately 1,200 miles of retaining walls across Derbyshire.