Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey has marked the start of works on the £100 million Boston Barrier flood defense, breaking ground on an Environment Agency scheme that will protect 14,000 homes and businesses from tidal flooding.
Work is already underway to dredge more than 5,000 cubic meters of silt from the Boston Haven to make way for the construction.
According to the EA, over the coming months, 2,000 tonnes of steel sheeting will be put in place to strengthen the riverbanks in preparation for the barrier.
Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “The Boston Barrier is part of our plan to invest £229 million over the next four years to make sure the risk of flooding to 49,000 homes and businesses in Lincolnshire is significantly reduced. It is expected that works will be complete by the end of 2020, and will make Boston one of the best-protected areas from tidal flooding outside of London.”
The scheme will feature a movable gate across the River Witham together with a new control building to operate the barrier, new flood defense walls on both banks and a replacement gate across the entrance to the existing Port of Boston wet dock.
Boston has a long history of tidal flooding, most recently in December 2013 when more than 800 properties flooded across 55 streets. Flooding also occurred in 1953 and 1978.
The Environment Agency is investing £2.6 billion of government funding in more than 1,500 flood defenses to protect homes and businesses across the country by 2021.