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Barge system for Ouse flood scheme

The Environment Agency is using barges to combat changing tides for the £11.9M Swinefleet scheme on the River Ouse.

A crane and piling machine are fixed to a 30m barge called ‘The Maverick’.

Once anchored, the Maverick and its 80t crane move up and down with the water level, which enables engineers to work through the changing tides.

The 24 metre long crane that sits on the Maverick is used to work sheet piles up to 15.5m long into the bank that will form the new flood embankment. The improvements will raise and widen the embankment as well as improving its stability.

Will Benedikz, project manager for the Environment Agency, said: ”At this stage of the scheme we are working in people’s back gardens.

“Using the river instead of the land allows us to cause the least disruption to the community. It also prevents us damaging the existing banks with construction traffic,” he said.

Once complete, the work will better protect 9,400 homes and 1,200 commercial properties from flooding.

The Environment Agency will also be using the Humber Estuary to bring materials into the site. Four barges will bring steel piles onto the site via the estuary, saving 85 wagon journeys through Swinefleet.

Humber Strategy

The Swinefleet scheme is one of the first to be built following the publication last year of the Humber Strategy.

The 100-year flood risk management plan is a partnership between:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Birse Civils
  • Halcrow
  • Black & Veatch.

The partnership will be investing £36M in flood alleviation schemes for Swinefleet and Brough on the north bank of the Humber, and Stallingborough and Halton Marshes in North Lincolnshire.

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