As part of the Water and Environment Management (WEM) Framework, the Environment Agency has appointed VBA, the joint venture between VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins, to work on a £21m flood defence scheme.
Work to the tidal barrier scheme, which runs along the River Orwell in Ipswich, is due to start later this month and includes the design, construction and installation of a 30m wide tidal barrier gate. It will complete the defences which the Environment Agency has been upgrading in recent years to greatly reduce the risk of future flooding.
Mark Gardner, framework director for VBA, said: “This project is a great opportunity for VBA to showcase its capabilities in flood defences as well as create a safer environment for those who have been impacted by flooding.”
Ipswich has a long history of flooding both from high fluvial flows and surge tide effects, with more than 1,500 residential and 400 commercial properties currently within the risk area.
The new flood gate will prevent surge tides and allow control of fluvial flow.
The scheme involves the construction of piled flood defence walls on either side of the barrier, a control building, the installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, flood gates on the east and west banks within the flood walls, scour protection and landscaping works.
Once successfully completed VBA will maintain the new tidal barrier for a further two years.