A multi-million pound scheme in Teesside to reduce the risk of flooding to 350 homes and 32 businesses has been completed.
The Environment Agency collaborated with local firm Wilton Engineering to implement the Port Clarence flood mitigation scheme.
Wilton has created a detachable section of defence that protects their work site and the surrounding community from flooding while still allowing them to operate from the river.
The Environment Agency visited High Clarence Primary School this week to talk to students about flooding, the new defences, and how the scheme protects where they live and the nearby local businesses.
Alan Cadas, the Environment Agency’s Operations Manager for the North East, stated: “This has been a truly innovative collaboration between ourselves and Wilton Engineering, as we have worked with industry to protect the local area.
“The removable defence protects Port Clarence homes and businesses from flooding while also allowing Wilton to operate from the river when necessary.
“Along the River Tees, the scheme has also seen a combination of embankments, flood walls, and ground raising 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 connect to a concrete flood wall that runs along the rest of Wilton’s site’s frontage.
The new defences stretch for nearly 1.5km in total length. There were 132 pre-cast concrete units used, each weighing nearly six tonnes.
And 47 bespoke removable steel defence sections, each six metres long and weighing 1.2 tonnes, have been lifted into position.
New flood embankments have also been built 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 about half a metre.
Construction began in March 2015 and was completed in December of that year.
“Flooding is a huge problem throughout many parts of the UK,” added Wilton Engineering CEO Bill Scott.
“I am confident that Port Clarence residents will be able to sleep soundly knowing that they are now protected from similar flooding events to those that occurred during the December 2013 tidal surge.
“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.”
The Environment Agency’s flood schemes in England have protected an additional 182,000 properties in the last three years, and it plans to spend £2.3 billion over the next six years to protect an additional 300,000 properties.