VBA Milestone reached for Ipswich Flood Barrier Scheme

The latest stage of VBA’s £21million phase of works to the Environment Agency’s (EA) Ipswich Flood Barrier Scheme, has been completed.

Ipswich 1
Ipswich 1

The cofferdam, which is a structure that can be pumped dry to enable construction of the barrier to take place below the river bed level, is now in place. Over the last few months VBA, the joint venture comprising of VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins, working for the EA, have installed the cofferdam, pumped it dry and excavated the river silts and gravel.

The next stage is the pouring of the base slab, which is more than 700 cubic metres of reinforced concrete. Currently the steel reinforcement is being placed by a team of 20 people and the first pour of the base slab will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

Nick Culshaw, operations director at VBA, said: “It has been a real honour to be working with and supporting the EA on this vital project in Ipswich.  In order to protect around 2,000 properties, both commercial and residential, within the town from flooding in the future, a 20m wide tidal barrier gate, along with a new Control Building and the relevant controls, will be installed. The barrier, along with additional flood defences undertaken by VBA, will prevent any surge tides up to the 1 in 300 year event (0.33%) and allow the control of fluvial flow as required in the future.”

The tidal gate is being fabricated in Holland and will be delivered later in the year, when the concrete structure and control building have been completed. Progress has been made elsewhere on site, with the foundations for the flood walls and the control building having now been installed.

Andrew Usborne, EA project manager, commented: “The integrated team at the barrier are making good progress and are on programme to complete the works in spring 2018. I am really looking forward to the next key milestone, which is the delivery of the tidal gate from Holland later in the summer.”

VBA were awarded one phase of the works totalling £21million of the Environment Agency’s £58million scheme and will maintain the barrier until 2018, when the scheme is due to be completed.

The project has been partnership funded by: Defra, the Environment Agency, Ipswich Borough Council, Department for Communities and Local Government, the Haven Gateway Partnership, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

If you’re worried about the risk of flooding to you or a vulnerable person check your flood risk and other information here: Sign up for Flood Warnings here: Alternatively you can call Floodline on: 0345 988 1188 or sign up for Facebook Flood alerts at: