The Boston Barrier gate has been shipped by barge from the Netherlands, and contractor BMMJV – a joint venture of BAM Nuttall and Mott McDonald – has driven the 29-metre wide steel structure into place.
The £100m Environment Agency scheme is part of the Boston Combined Strategy to better protect the surrounding area from tidal flooding. Once fully commissioned, the Boston Barrier gate will enhance protection for 14,000 homes from tidal flooding.
Moving the barrier gate into position from the barge took three days. Steel sheet piles in the construction area were first cut down in preparation for the barrier gate to be driven off the barge and over a temporary installation bridge by remote-controlled platform tailers.
Now the barrier is in place it will be connected to the hydraulic rams and control systems before safety and commissioning tests. The current navigation channel at the side of the construction works will then need to be closed for the barrier to be effective. Infilling the bypass channel is set to start in the new year and it is anticipated that the barrier will be ready for full operation by summer 2020.
The final stages of the scheme include installing a more flood resilient gate at the Port of Boston wet-dock entrance, and associated works to tie the project into the Haven Banks Scheme – a separate project that will raise and strengthen the existing flood banks running from the barrier towards the Wash for a distance of 5km.
BMMJV project manager Steve Lowder said: “The delivery of the barrier gate is the culmination of hard work and collaboration by BMMJV its client, and all the suppliers working on the project. The arrival of the barrier is a major milestone for the project. We’ve been working around the clock to get to this point and look forward to successfully completing the next steps of the scheme downstream. The team has achieved an exemplary safety record, and are proud to protect and improve the environment for people living and working in the local community.”