Contributed by JMS Consulting Engineers
22/10/2019 - JMS Consulting Engineers
Lake Vyrnwy in Oswestry, Wales, is a beautiful natural landscape, set amidst the remote Berwyn Mountains. Visitors flock in from all over to witness the area’s beauty, natural waterfalls, and take part in the many activities on offer including hiking, kayaking and birdwatching.
Over the years, this footfall has taken its toll on the local infrastructure. And with ambitious plans afoot to develop activities in the area, visitor numbers will only increase. Which meant the local authorities needed expertise on hand to draw up the innovative and robust infrastructure improvements that will ensure this area remains accessible and picturesque for the long term future? Which is where JMS enter the rather picturesque picture….
Lake Vyrnwy: The challenges
Localised flooding alongside the road downstream of the dam meant that access to and from the area needed some serious TLC. It wouldn’t be an easy fix of course (these things never are…), because those 800 metres of narrow roads are surrounded by steep slopes and generally inaccessible terrain. Of course, the JMS team will take this in their stride.
Increasing visitor numbers in such a remote area also requires expanding the current car park, alongside creating more disabled access, to ensure vehicles don’t block the roads, and cause erosion to the landscape through parking on grassland. And while Joni Mitchel might complain “they paved paradise to put up a parking lot” the reality is that our work redesigning and expanding the available space is designed to take the pressure off the natural beauty in the area, and allow people to enjoy this very special piece of welsh paradise.
JMS keep the water (and tourist traffic) flowing
Every square metre of road surrounding the dam needed risk assessment, so repair and resurfacing work could begin. Much of the previously installed drainage carrier pipes had become broken or dislodged over the years, and now required a more resilient solution.
To resolve these issues, and keep the road safe from flooding, JMS decided to introduce a surface water drainage scheme, which will involve a system of gullies and interceptors. So no matter how many vehicles visit every year, and however much impact climate change has on the area in coming decades, locals and visitors can be sure these roads will remain passable at all times.
This drainage system will also benefit the local residents dotted on the landscape, who have found their gardens sometimes get flooded by runoff water.
A beautiful view of the future for Lake Vyrnwy
All in all, once this project is completed, Lake Vyrnwy’s roads will be secure from the risk of flooding, and this will prevent disruption to the thriving tourist industry in the area for many years to come. So if you get the chance, take a trip to Lake Vyrnwy, it’s a beautiful spot.
To find out more, visit www.jmsengineers.co.uk
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