The Environment Agency has started work on the £11 million project that will increase flood protection from Greatham Creek in Teesside and create around 30 hectares of extra habitat.
The first phase of the project, which saw new flood defenses built at Port Clarence to reduce flood risk from the River Tees at a cost of £4.5 million, was finished in December 2015.
Phase two will see the Environment Agency raise existing flood embankments along Greatham Creek, reducing flood risk to the port and land which is south of the Creek.
There will also be a managed realignment of part of the current flood defenses. This means a new embankment to the north of RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve will be built around a larger area of land, and then the existing flood embankment will be breached. This results in the creation of around 30 hectares of intertidal habitat to the north of the nature reserve.
Phase 2 is expected to be complete by the end of 2018. Together the projects reduce the risk of flooding from both the River Tees and Greatham Creek at Port Clarence, protecting 350 homes and 32 businesses.
The Environment Agency’s Senior Advisor on the scheme Phil Marshall said: “By working together with local industry we’re vastly improving existing defenses to protect residents and businesses and reduce the risk of flooding now and into the future as sea levels start to rise.”
“It’s a great example of how we’re working closely with partners, businesses and communities to create long-term, sustainable solutions to flooding while also making enhancements to the environment,” he added.
Daren Smith, SABIC Site Director (acting) said: “SABIC are delighted to be working in partnership with the Environment Agency and other agencies to enable this vital sustainable project to be delivered. Contractors BMMJV (BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald Joint Venture), are carrying out the work on behalf of the Environment Agency.”
Phase 1 of the scheme saw new flood defenses built in Port Clarence, consisting of a mixture of earth embankments, flood walls, and a raised section of the road on the approach to the Transporter Bridge.
In addition, the Environment Agency worked together with local business Wilton Engineering to install removable steel flood defenses along the River Tees to improve flood protection while still allowing Wilton to operate from the river.