A multi-million pound scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to 350 homes and 32 businesses in Teesside is complete.
The Environment Agency joined forces with local business Wilton Engineering to deliver the Port Clarence flood alleviation scheme.
Wilton has manufactured a removable section of defence, which protects their work site and the local community from flooding, but ensures they can still operate from the river.
This week the Environment Agency attended High Clarence Primary School to talk to pupils about flooding, the new defences and how the scheme protects where they live and the surrounding local businesses.
The Environment Agency’s Operations Manager for the North East, Alan Cadas, said: “This has been a really innovative collaboration between ourselves and Wilton Engineering – seeing us work together with industry to protect the local area.
“The removable defence means homes and businesses in Port Clarence are protected from flooding, but they also ensure Wilton can still operate its business from the river when required.
“The scheme has also seen a mixture of embankments, flood walls and ground raising along the River Tees to reduce the risk of flooding.
“I remember well the impact of the most recent floods on the local community and I hope the completion of this scheme provides reassurance for residents going into the future as well as protecting local industry.”
The sections of removable defence joins with a concrete flood wall which runs along the rest of the front of Wilton’s site.
In total the length of the new defences measures almost 1.5km. There’s been 132 pre-cast concrete units used weighing nearly six tonnes each.
And 47 bespoke removable sections of steel defence, each six metres long and weighing 1.2 tonnes each have been lifted into place.
There are also new flood embankments to the east and west of Wilton, and a 35-metre section of the road on the approach to the Transporter Bridge has been raised by around half a metre.
Construction started on site in March 2015 and was completed in December.
“Flooding is a huge problem throughout many parts of the UK,” added Wilton Engineering chief executive Bill Scott.
“I am sure the residents of Port Clarence will be able to sleep knowing that they are now protected against similar flooding events to that which occurred during the tidal surge back in December 2013.
“It is testament to the Environment Agency to proceed so quickly to install a large bespoke flood defence system to protect the local community, and businesses.”
Across England, the Environment Agency’s flood schemes have protected an extra 182,000 properties in the past three years – and it’s spending £2.3 billion over the next six years to reduce flood risk to a further 300,000 more properties.