Network Rail has been busy installing brand new low energy LED lighting along with concrete seating along the new sea wall. The 14 benches will give people who want to walk or travel along the 360m esplanade a chance to relax and enjoy the views and soothing sounds of the sea. The brand new lighting will also give people the chance to enjoy the area during darker evenings.
The building of the first section of the new and bigger sea wall, which stretches from Marine Parade, which is west of Dawlish station, began in May 2019 and was finished during July 2020 and was officially opened by the Rail Minister during September 2020.
The second section of the new sea wall is 415m in length and stretches from Colonnade breakwater, which is also located west of the station and runs to the Coastguard breakwater which is east of the station. The work for this part of the project began during November 2020 and is making good progress.
The project has now seen 143 concrete wall panels successfully installed, along with curved wave returns which top the panels being added currently.
The £80m upgrade has been funded by the Government and will be complete by 2023, bringing greater protection to the railway and also to the town of Dawlish against the rising sea levels and extreme weather for future generations. Network Rail has been making ongoing efforts since 2014 to increase the resilience of the railway between Dawlish and Teignmouth in Devon with the implementation of the South West Rail Resilience Programme (SWRRP).
Ewen Morrison, Network Rail senior programme manager for the Dawlish sea wall project, said: “It’s pleasing to see the remaining finishing touches to the first section of sea wall have now been completed.
“The lighting will undoubtedly brighten up the promenade and enable people to safely use the sea wall in the evening, particularly as the darker winter nights fast approach.
“Every time I’m in Dawlish I’m struck by the stunning views of the English Channel and I’m delighted residents and visitors to Dawlish will be able to enjoy these views with an ice-cream or cup of coffee while relaxing on this new seating.”
Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, commented: “It was great to recently meet with Simon from Network Rail to discuss and see first-hand the excellent progress on the new sea wall at Dawlish. The latest improvements offering new lighting and seating are a great addition that will help local residents and visitors to continue to enjoy this beautiful stretch of coastline.
“The rail resilience works are so important to protecting Dawlish and our vital railway line from the sea for decades to come, and I warmly welcome the tens of millions of pounds of government investment into our area that this project represents.”
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