The Costain, Colas and Halcrow team pumped approximately 2.5 million litres of water, the equivalent to an Olympic sized swimming pool, from the A1 at Catterick into the River Swale earlier this month.
The road – which was closed in both directions – was cleared in less than 10 hours. In 2012, the northbound A1 at Catterick was closed for just over two days after heavy rain overnight flooded the road and left it impassable.
Highways England is the only authority apart from the fire service to own a high volume pump of this type. Service delivery manager Nicholas Adshead said:
“This is a major step forwards in tackling flooding and limiting disruption on the network, minimising the impact on the region’s economy. It has saved the north-east economy over £500,000 in time and delays.”
The pump can be set up in less than an hour to clear thousands of litres of water from flooded areas and can be deployed by Highways England anywhere in the UK in the event of severe flooding.
Peter Hancock, network manager at A-one+, said: “There were similar quantities of water on the road during the 2012 flooding but with this pump in place we were able to clear the road in hours rather than days.
“The sheer quantity of water on the A1 was unbelievable and even as we were pumping it away it was backfilling from the fields on either side of the road. The power of the pump meant we were able to get the road reopened quickly and minimise disruption to traffic.”