New pictures chart building of Ipswich Tidal Barrier over two and a half years
PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 19 December 2018
The finishing touches to a £70million flood protection scheme in Ipswich are being put in place, with a vibrant new public space among the final elements being crafted.
While the world-class structure is complete and ready to defend against flooding and surges, the final elements to public space on the west bank are now being completed.
Chris Finbow, senior advisor from the Environment Agency, said: “We are getting towards the end of the project now.
“The final elements of the gate and the structure have now been commissioned. The main gate is now commissioned. We have the main rail gate that has now been done as well, so we’re not far off having a fully commissioned asset.
“We have training of the operatives to do, and then we are ready to go.
“If we had a flood surge today we could close the barrier and be operational, but technically the contract will be when they are fully trained and everything handed over to us should be very early in the new year.”
Once the west bank has been completed, work on a new phase of homes by Persimmon can get underway nearby, and a photography project charting the journey of the barrier will be put up for display.
“The west bank side was not the nicest area of Ipswich,” Mr Finbow said.
“It was very overgrown and not in much use. The new landscaping is going in with all the public benches, so it’s going to be a very nice area.
“There are lots of public seating and amenities down there, so hopefully it will be a nice place for people to come and see and actually come and see what the barrier is. They’ll be able to see it operated once a month as well.”
The barrier aims to protect more than 1,600 homes and 400 businesses around the Waterfront.
Mr Finbow added: “I think it is extremely important.
“It’s going to protect a huge amount of additional properties, and hopefully should give a bit more security to those that live in Ipswich. Most people will never know it’s really here and how much it does protect them, but those who are interested and have been involved are quite impressed at what it is.”