Contractors have begun the process of raising and improving flood defences in York as part of a £45M project to bolster the city’s flood resilience.
Improvements to existing defences are being carried out along North Street on the banks of the River Ouse. A floodgate under Lendal Bridge will also be increased in height.
The North Street floodwall and Lendal Bridge floodgate are to be extended 300mm, with the floodgate also being fitted with additional 150mm tall removable panels. A new 700mm flood wall is also set to be constructed near York City Rowing Club.
The flood wall along North Street has previously come close to overtopping and needs increasing in height to cope with rising flood heights and the effects of climate change.
In 2000 and 2015 the river levels were so close to the top of the North Street wall that sandbags had to be used to increase the defence height.
The work forms part of the £45M York Flood Alleviation Scheme which will improve protection for 2,000 properties across the city by 2021.
Environment Agency project manager Richard Lever said: “If we don’t carry out this work there is also a risk that flood water might flow round the end of the existing defences, finding a path through the War Memorial Gardens and the York City Rowing Club boathouse to flood properties on Rougier Street and Wellington Row, as well as cutting off Station Road.”
The Environment Agency is to continue working with City of York Council until 2021 to carry out the major programme of flood defence upgrades within the city.
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