Flood defence walls set for £40m upgrade
PUBLISHED: 12:03 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 10 January 2020
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Flood defence walls in Great Yarmouth are set to receive a £40.3 million refurbishment, upgrading the level of protection from tidal flooding to more than 4,500 homes and businesses in the area.
Nearly 4km of flood walls will be improved as part of the project organised by the Environment Agency (EA), with 46 flood defence walls refurbished at locations across the town using a technique aiming to extend their lifespan by up to 30 years.
The project, which starts on Friday (January 10) and is expected to be completed next year, will also see one lane of Southtown Road closed for nine months.
One section of the wall marked for maintenance is on Bollard Quay, where the job will involve replacing the existing concrete wall adjacent to the busy road linking Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.
Great Yarmouth has a history of flooding. During the 1953 east coast tidal surge, the river defences in the town were breached in several places resulting in loss of life.
More recently, in December 2013, approximately 9,000 people were urged to evacuate their homes as a result of the highest ever recorded tide in the town.
The job follows on from an initial five-year phase of work which included the use of a specialised dam, known as a limpet dam, to inspect and repair the steel sheet piles that form the flood walls in a dry environment that would otherwise be underwater.
Funding is now in place for the next phase of the multi-partner project, which is being led by the EA, and due to start later this year.
The £40.3 million investment, plus £6.2 million for ongoing maintenance, has come from a range of sources including £32.4 million provided by central government.
Partnership contributions have come from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, £8.2 million through the Growth Deal programme, and £2.8 million from the Anglian Eastern Regional Flood & Coastal Committee.
Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have also contributed towards the project and local quayside businesses are supporting through contributions and the provision of compound space.
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Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: "I'm delighted to be here to witness the start of work on this vital project which will see homes and businesses in Great Yarmouth better protected from flooding for decades to come."