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£70M Ipswich flood barrier opens

3096522 oct20173

The £70M Ipswich Tidal Flood Barrier officially opens today.

The last piece of the horseshoe-shaped barrier was installed on the Rival Orwell in December last year, and with landscaping now complete the barrier has will be officially commissioned later today.

The final part of the Ipswich flood defence jigsaw saw a special gate fitted across the railway line beside the River Orwell in the weeks before Christmas.

The barrier is designed to protect 2,000 properties in the Waterfront and other low-lying areas of Ipswich town centre

Built by joint venture VBA – VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins – work started on site in November 2015.

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The flood defence project reached a major milestone in November 2017 when the centrepiece of the scheme, a 200t, 22m long, 9m high steel gate was lifted into place across the River Orwell in Suffolk to form part of a new £70M tidal barrier.

The scale of the operation was so huge that it was lifted into place by an 800t crane, which itself was delivered to site in 22 lorries and two minibuses.

Earlier works included building flood protection walls on high ground on the eastern and western banks adjacent to the barrier. On the western side, the wall runs behind the ABP port’s west bank Terminal and railway line, both of which will be expected to flood should river levels rise. 

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