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Work on Reading's Abbey Square Culvert gets underway

Councillor Tony Pages visits the Abbey Square Culvert site - picture credited to Reading Borough Council

A project of work to restore and strengthen the Abbey Square Culvert in Reading has got underway.

It's expected to take around three months to complete, with various jobs needing to be done.

Reading Borough Council says the work is needed to help preserve the century-old structure, which the Holy Brook runs under.

The Abbey Square culvert, located directly outside Reading Central Library, is one section of a longer culvert that runs between Kings Road and Duke Street. Other sections of the culvert also require strengthening work and this work will take place later this year.

The Holy Brook is a channel of the River Kennet that flows through Reading - and whilst it's thought some parts of the channel are natural, other parts were created in medieval times by the monks of Reading Abbey to supply water mills and fish ponds.

To allow the strengthening works to take place, the exit from Abbey Square onto Kings Road has been temporarily closed. The one way restriction on Abbey Square is instead suspended to allow all vehicles to exit via Abbey Street.

(Above: Abbey Square Culvert - picture credited to Reading Borough Council)

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“The Council has now begun work to repair the Abbey Square culvert, which has unsurprisingly deteriorated over 100 year period.

“These strengthening works are now essential to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the structure to carry traffic above for decades to come.

“Other sections of the culvert, along nearby Kings Road and Duke Street, also require repair and further strengthening work will take place later in this financial year.”

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