Environment Agency lifts the lid on £2 million flood defence refurbishment

Scheme in Essex already underway

Environment Agency lifts the lid on £2 million flood defence refurbishment

Catastrophe & Flood

By Terry Gangcuangco

The Environment Agency (EA) – which is investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to deliver over 1,500 projects aimed at better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion – has announced that work is underway on a refurbishment scheme in Essex.

Expected to last until December, the project involves the flood defence embankment in Stansgate and has a budget in excess of £2 million.

The goal is to make sure the embankment, which has already deteriorated, is not washed away and continues to mitigate the risk of flooding to more than 200 properties as well as large areas of agricultural land and habitat.

The old concrete scour protection from the embankment is being replaced by open stone asphalt (OSA) by EA contractors JBA Bentley. According to EA project lead Robert Brown, the initiative will reduce the need for maintenance works over time.

“The OSA and equipment is being brought to site by lorry,” said Brown. “We and JBA Bentley are working hard to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum.

“For example, the old concrete blocks will be placed at the bottom of the seawall to act as a wave break and habitat, which will remove the need to take them away by lorry.”

What’s also worthy of note is that the ongoing work is being complemented by a similar scheme undertaken by the landowner to repair adjoining defences.

Last month Flood Re chief executive Andy Bord welcomed the surge in investment in flood resilience projects across England.

“Flood Re is designed to end in 2039,” he said, “and so ensuring that households in high flood-risk areas invest in resilience measures will help the home insurance market to function effectively, with affordable premiums for at-risk homes.”

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