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Atkins win £18M Gainsborough flood job

Atkins has won an £18M contract to protect the town of Gainsborough from the river Trent.

Located along the tidal reach of the River Trent, Gainsborough already has 1800m of hard defences and 2200m of soft defences. 800m of the hard defences were replaced in 2000.

In 2003 a pre-feasibility study concluded that the remaining hard defences were approaching the end of their useful life and needed urgent replacement.

This £18M scheme will increase and ensure the flood protection to 2,609 properties in Gainsborough by strengthening existing flood defences.

Atkins was commissioned to carry out a condition assessment of Gainsborough’s flood defence assets and following the assessment, Atkins in cooperation with Birse, undertook the design and construction delivery of the scheme. A scheme of remedial works and improvement measures were chosen.

As part of the work, plastic sheet piles have been installed through earth embankments to prevent breach failure. By using plastic piles the project team was able to deliver a best value solution, delivering savings in the programme, costs and reducing landtake and overall environmental impact.

Existing sheet piled frontages are currently being strengthened by installing ground anchors and waling beams.  These are more sustainable solutions to provide flood protection for the next 100 years than the wholesale replacement originally proposed.  

The River Trent at Gainsborough is tidal and this has posed significant challenges to the design and delivery teams leading to some innovative solutions.  This has required close working with ground anchor installer and steelwork fabricator to establish appropriate fabrication and installation techniques.

Other interesting aspects include environmental enhancements and mitigation such as migrating birds, protected trees, wetland and pond habitat creation, BAP habitat (Black Poplar and Lowland Meadow) and public artwork.

Who’s Who:

  • Client: Environment Agency
  • Designer - Atkins
  • Contractor - Birse Construction
  • Contract Project Manager - Faithful & Gould

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