UK: Exeter Flood Defense Project Kicks Off

The first phase of Exeter’s £30 million flood defense scheme has begun this week with works to deepen the Trew’s flood relief channel.

When finished the new scheme will reduce flood risk to approximately 3,000 homes and businesses throughout the city.

Phase one will include deepening the existing flood relief channel, lowering the spill weir at the top of Trew’s flood relief channel and removing the ‘check weir’ at the bottom of the channel. These works will increase the flow capacity of the flood relief channel.

Large dumper trucks will be used to remove excavated material from the flood relief channel. The material will be temporarily stored on Bromham’s Farm playing field, close to the construction site compound. The material will then be re-used during phase two of the project. This will help reduce construction traffic bringing in new material.

Other improvements include the construction of a meandering stream through the center of the flood relief channel, construction of fish passes on Trew’s weir and a low level pedestrian access across the middle of the flood relief channel.

George Arnison for the Environment Agency, said:

There will be a lot of heavy machinery arriving on site and this will cause some disruption, but we hope people will understand why we need to carry out the work in order to reduce flood risk to people and properties in Exeter. We will do all we can to minimize the disruption.”

Steps taken to minimize disruption include:

  • Continued public access to the ‘island’ between the River Exe and the Trew’s flood relief channel during construction;
  • Allotment users will still be able to access their plots;
  • The footpath and cyclepath alongside Trew’s Flood Relief Channel will remain open. However, there will be some unavoidable delays due to dumper truck movements across the path. Signs have been placed to direct people to alternative routes alongside Exeter Canal.

The Environment Agency and its partners, Devon County Council and Exeter City Council have already held a series of public exhibitions to seek people’s views about the designs for phase two of the scheme. Work on phase two is planned to start in Autumn 2015.

The scheme will cost approximately £30 million with a contribution of £3 million each from Exeter City Council and Devon County Council plus £6 million of government growth funding. The remainder will be financed from flood defense grant in aid.

Press Release, September 4, 2014

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