Take a look around the Ipswich Tidal Barrier
PUBLISHED: 11:20 04 October 2018
The £70million Ipswich Tidal Barrier scheme was cast into the international spotlight this week, as worldwide flooding experts visited the site.
The annual I-Storm gathering took place in Ipswich from Monday-Wednesday, where flood defence experts from the likes of the Netherlands, Italy and the United States of America met to share knowledge on protection projects.
This year, Ipswich was the host venue, where the Environment Agency’s £70m tidal barrier scheme on the River Orwell was examined.
Marc Walraven, senior advisor on tidal barriers in the Netherlands, said: “I think it’s very impressive to see.
“What I very much like is it is in the surrounding of the population – you can really see the houses it defends, and that’s very interesting because sometimes barriers are much more seawards, and this one is in its surroundings that it defends.”
The final stretch of work has featured landscaping on the western bank, and work on an open public area there, as well as final elements on the island site to the control tower.
Graham Verrier, operations manager for Norfolk and Suffolk at the Environment Agency, said some of the key things learnt from the I-Storm gathering have been maintenance of the bridge based on similar Dutch schemes, which should reduce mistakes and costs once the barrier is complete.
Mr Verrier added: “It’s quite an iconic structure, so we have worked really closely with the planners to make sure we enhance what we leave behind.
“We’re going to leave in a better situation than we found this small area.
“But also it protects 1,600 homes. That’s a massive benefit to people, 400 businesses where we all live and work, so it’s good for our economy and our own personal ability to be able to work.
“For people to come in and be really excited what we are doing here and learn from us as well has been a really good experience.”