ACTION has finally been taken to reopen a key road flooded in Benfleet.
Fury had erupted after Ferry Road in Benfleet continued to be partially closed last week, despite the new £4million Benfleet bridge, which the road was originally closed for, being fully operational.
The road had become submerged under water almost three weeks ago following heavy rain, prompting criticism why authorities had failed to clear the water when there are two pumping stations nearby.
Residents breathed a sigh of relief after representatives from both Anglian Water and Essex County Council finally visited the site on Friday to investigate the source of the flooding and remove building equipment parked nearby in an effort to reopen the road.
The road was fully open on Sunday.
Bob Russell, 62, of High Road, Benfleet, said: “I’ve lived here over 20 years and every time there is a drop of rain that road fills with water. It’s just not good enough. I’m glad someone is finally sorting it but they need to look at fixing the problem on a permanent basis to stop it happening again.”
Anglian Water admitted to the Echo they were wrong to deny responsibility for draining the road as representatives had been mistakenly visiting a pumping station nearby in the High Street which is only used for sewage.
However, the company claim water is still filling the underpass because the drains are blocked, stopping the water getting to the pump.
A spokesman said: “The sole purpose of that pump is to take water from the road into the Thames Estuary. From what we can see the pump is working but it appears the gullies are blocked. We are sending someone down to assess the situation.”
County councillor Ray Howard, who lobbied the organisations with MP Rebecca Harris and ward councillor Andrew Sheldon, said: “People had been emailing me saying they were on the verge of losing their jobs because of being late so many times and stuck in queues.
“It was just unacceptable. We kept telling Anglian Water that pump was given to them years ago specifically to stop the underpass flooding. I am delighted they are making efforts to drain the road, and I am in contact with the council to check the drains.
“My main priority is getting this road reopened for drivers."