VIPs, including the Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan, attended an open day to see the latest work on Ipswich the flood defense scheme, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for 2,000 homes and businesses in the town.
Huge hydraulic arms that will operate the new tidal flood gate have been installed, taking the vital £70 million project 1 step closer to completion.
The 200 tonne tidal gate was manufactured in the Netherlands and arrived in Suffolk in October, a significant milestone in the 4 year project. The gate is 22 meters wide and will stand 9 meters tall when in its “closed position”. It is finished with 5 tonnes of special paint that will help protect it, as it spends most of its life under water.
The project is being undertaken by Environment Agency contractor VBA – a joint venture between VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins – and is due to be completed next year.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive at the Environment Agency, said: “The £70 million barrier will not only help reduce the threat of flooding for 2,000 homes and businesses but also be a boost for the area’s economy. Working with partners has been key to the scheme’s success and I look forward to seeing the finished scheme.”
Floods Minister, Thérèse Coffey, said: “This new £70 million barrier is brilliant news for Ipswich and is just 1 example of our investment across Suffolk to better protect communities across the county from flooding.”
The final element of the scheme involves building a tidal barrier across the New Cut River in Ipswich with associated works to tie it into the new east and west bank walls and gates. The barrier gate is expected to be operational in the spring of 2018.