Yesterday we were invited to view the 300-tonne tidal flood gate which arrived in Boston early Sunday morning, ready to be installed as part of the Boston Barrier Scheme.
The Boston Barrier gate has been shipped by barge from The Netherlands and will be driven into place over the next few days.
The barrier gate delivery marks an important milestone in a project that will see Boston and the surrounding area better protected from tidal flooding well into the next century.
Moving the barrier gate into position is a highly technical process. Steel sheet piles in the construction area have been cut down in preparation for the barrier gate to be driven off the barge and over a temporary installation bridge by remotely controlled vehicles. It’s anticipated that the whole process will take just over three days.
When the barrier is in place, it will then be connected to the hydraulic rams and control systems before undergoing essential safety and commissioning tests.
The current navigation channel at the side of the construction works will then need to be closed for the barrier to be effective.
The final elements of the scheme include installing a more flood resilient gate at the Port of Boston wet-dock entrance, and associated works to tie the project into the Haven Banks Scheme – a separate project that will raise and strengthen the existing flood banks running from the barrier towards The Wash for a distance of 5km.
When complete, the £100m Boston scheme will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to more than 14,000 properties in the town.
It will give Boston one of the best standards of defence against tidal flooding outside of London.
The barrier is expected to be fully-operational by Spring 2020.
Phil Drury, Chief Executive at Boston Borough Council, said: “It was a pleasure to see the delivery of the gate, taking the town a step further to improved tidal flooding defence. This is a massive, complicated and technical project and I am grateful to the Environment Agency and everyone involved for their huge effort in helping to protect our wonderful town.”