The latest stage of the Environment Agency’s £58million Ipswich Flood Barrier Scheme has been completed.
The cofferdam, which is a structure that can be pumped dry to enable construction of the barrier to take place below the river bed level, is now in place.
Over the last few months, VBA the contractors working for the EA, have installed the cofferdam, pumped it dry and they have now excavated the river silts and gravel.
The next stage is to pour the base slab, which is more than 700 cubic metres of reinforced concrete. At the moment the steel reinforcement is being placed by a team of 20 people and the first pour of the base slab will be completed in the next couple of weeks.
The actual tidal gate is being fabricated in Holland and will be delivered later in the year when the concrete structure and control building have been completed.
Progress has been made elsewhere on the site, with the foundations for the flood walls and the control building now installed.
The project, which will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,608 homes and 422 businesses and support key infrastructure, has been partnership funded by: the Environment Agency, Ipswich Borough Council, Department for Communities and Local Government, the Haven Gateway Partnership, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
EA project manager Andrew Usborne said:
The integrated team at the barrier are making good progress and are on programme to complete the works in spring 2018.
I am really looking forward to the next key milestone, which is the delivery of the tidal gate from Holland later in the summer.
Nick Culshaw, VBA operations director, said:
It has been a real honour to be working with and supporting the EA on this vital project in Ipswich. In order to protect around 2,000 properties, both commercial and residential, within the town from flooding in the future, a 20m wide tidal barrier gate, along with the relevant controls, will be installed.
The barrier, along with additional flood defences undertaken by VBA, will prevent any surge tides and allow the control of fluvial flow as required in the future.
The scheme is due to be completed in 2018.
If you’re worried about the risk of flooding to you or a vulnerable person check your flood risk and other information here: http://ow.ly/SWdMz. Sign up for Flood Warnings here: http://ow.ly/SWdVp. Alternatively you can call Floodline on: 0345 988 1188 or sign up for Facebook Flood alerts at: http://ow.ly/SWdVp