A £400,000 scheme to reduce the risk of flooding at Nutclough above Hebden Bridge town centre has been completed – and has already proved its worth.
Environment Agency contractors have spent the last seven months constructing a new culvert screen on Ibbot Royd Clough where it passes under Keighley Road. This will significantly reduce the risk of blockages which have, in the past, caused the watercourse to overtop and flood the area.
A comprehensive new drainage system has also been installed to catch water cascading down Keighley Road in periods of heavy rain and divert it into the watercourse.
Surface water from the hills around the Nutclough area has been a major contributor to flooding in Hebden Bridge for many years and the new drains will vastly reduce the amount of water flowing down, thereby helping to reduce future risk to the town centre.
The new works have already been given a stern test over the weekend of 14/15 November when very heavy rain fell on to already saturated ground in Calderdale. The new drains and culvert screen coped with the deluge as they had been designed to do.
The difficult geography of the Nutclough site, together with working on and alongside a busy road full of utility services, presented a big challenge to the Environment Agency project team and its contractors who were grateful for the patience and support of local residents during the difficult and disruptive works.
Environment Agency Project Manager James Walton said:
This was a particularly challenging scheme which took longer to complete than we originally anticipated because of unexpected complications encountered as the works progressed. The co-operation of local residents in often difficult circumstances was, therefore, much appreciated.
The work required a lot of detailed design and planning but the end result is that our contractors, JBA Bentley, have constructed assets that we can confidently hand back to our partners at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council in the knowledge that they will continue to help reduce flood risk to the local area for many years to come.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
It is very pleasing to see the Nutclough scheme complete. This is the latest milestone in the Council and Environment Agency’s joint work to reduce flood risk across the Upper Calder Valley. It’s reassuring that the work is already making a difference and protecting our local communities.