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New pictures chart building of Ipswich Tidal Barrier over two and a half years

PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 19 December 2018

View from the new control tower at the Tidal Barrier in Ipswich. 

Picture: RACHEL EDGE

View from the new control tower at the Tidal Barrier in Ipswich. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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The finishing touches to a £70million flood protection scheme in Ipswich are being put in place, with a vibrant new public space among the final elements being crafted.

Chris Finbow at the controls of the Ipswich Tidal Barrier Picture: RACHEL EDGEChris Finbow at the controls of the Ipswich Tidal Barrier Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Ipswich Tidal Barrier scheme, which has been in construction since April 2016, features a 200-tonne tidal flood gate, as well as wall barriers and additional gateways.

While the world-class structure is complete and ready to defend against flooding and surges, the final elements to public space on the west bank are now being completed.

Chris Finbow, senior advisor from the Environment Agency, said: “We are getting towards the end of the project now.

“The final elements of the gate and the structure have now been commissioned. The main gate is now commissioned. We have the main rail gate that has now been done as well, so we’re not far off having a fully commissioned asset.

It's part of a £70 million flood protection scheme. 

Picture: RACHEL EDGEIt's part of a £70 million flood protection scheme. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“We have training of the operatives to do, and then we are ready to go.

“If we had a flood surge today we could close the barrier and be operational, but technically the contract will be when they are fully trained and everything handed over to us should be very early in the new year.”

Tidal Barrier, Ipswich
October 2018Tidal Barrier, Ipswich October 2018

Once the west bank has been completed, work on a new phase of homes by Persimmon can get underway nearby, and a photography project charting the journey of the barrier will be put up for display.

“The west bank side was not the nicest area of Ipswich,” Mr Finbow said.

Tidal Barrier, Ipswich
October 2018Tidal Barrier, Ipswich October 2018

“It was very overgrown and not in much use. The new landscaping is going in with all the public benches, so it’s going to be a very nice area.

“There are lots of public seating and amenities down there, so hopefully it will be a nice place for people to come and see and actually come and see what the barrier is. They’ll be able to see it operated once a month as well.”

Aerial photos of a tidal barrier. PICTURE: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYAerial photos of a tidal barrier. PICTURE: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

The barrier aims to protect more than 1,600 homes and 400 businesses around the Waterfront.

Mr Finbow added: “I think it is extremely important.

Diggers filling in the newly sculpted section of the west bank of the Ipswich tidal barrier defences, summer 2018 Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYDiggers filling in the newly sculpted section of the west bank of the Ipswich tidal barrier defences, summer 2018 Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

“It’s going to protect a huge amount of additional properties, and hopefully should give a bit more security to those that live in Ipswich. Most people will never know it’s really here and how much it does protect them, but those who are interested and have been involved are quite impressed at what it is.”

Work is well underway on the  Ipswich Tidal Barrier.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNWork is well underway on the Ipswich Tidal Barrier. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Work at the beginning of the Ipswich tidal barrier scheme in April 2016 Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYWork at the beginning of the Ipswich tidal barrier scheme in April 2016 Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Work continues on the landscaping where the public will be able to view the barrier.

Picture: RACHEL EDGEWork continues on the landscaping where the public will be able to view the barrier. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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