A £42m Hull tidal flood defence scheme has started construction work at the city’s historic estuary frontage, part of a scheme to help reduce the risk of flooding to 113,000 properties.
Contractor BMM-JV – a joint venture between BAM Nutall and Mott MacDonald – are on site and have begun work at various locations.
This critical work is essential to maintaining and improving Hull’s flood defences, and is being carried out in accordance with government guidelines for safe working due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the coming weeks, a new steel sheet-pile wall will be built 2.5 metres into the estuary, in front of the existing edge of Victoria Pier. This will shore up the quayside area as the existing piles need to be replaced.
A new concrete flood defence wall build on top of the new structure, and a raised promenade will be created behind the new wall, which will include glazed panels, to maintain views of the estuary.
The work is taking place as part of the Environment Agency’s Humber Hull Frontage flood defence improvement scheme which will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to 113,000 properties.
Building work is under way at a number of locations across the city, including St Andrew’s Quay retail park, St Andrew’s Dock, Albert Dock and Victoria Dock Village.
Project manager Helen Tattersdale, of the Environment Agency, said: “We’re thrilled with the progress made so far on this vital scheme and very pleased to be starting work on the Victoria Pier section this month.
"Climate change is one of the biggest global threats we face. Intense storms are becoming more frequent and climate change is seeing sea levels rise. Sea level rise on the Humber in the next 100 years is likely to be in excess of one metre, resulting in an increase in the likelihood of flooding from the tide.
In regards to construction work taking place while lockdown was in force to protect the spread of Covid-19, Tattersdale said: “In line with government advice, we are continuing to deliver all of our flood and risk management projects where it is safe for our teams and delivery partners to do so. We are following the latest guidance from Public Health England regarding safe working on construction sites. The safety of our staff, partners and the communities we work in remains a priority for us.”
Highways England contributed nearly £2m towards the scheme, from its Environment Designated Fund, which helps to improve flood resilience and reduce flood risks to communities close to its network of roads.
Toni Rios, Highways England programme development manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Environment Agency and contribute around £2m to this scheme. When complete it will protect homes and businesses from flooding and provide better protection to the A63 and A1033, reducing the risk of closures and flooding related disruption in the future.”
All sections of the Humber Hull Frontages flood defence improvements scheme are expected to be completed in spring next year.