Critical flood defence work to start at historic pier in Hull

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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.

A raised promenade will be created behind the new wall, which will include glazed panels, to maintain views of the estuary.

The promenade will incorporate steps and ramps leading to the existing ground level at Nelson Street.

Temporary flood defences have been put in place along Nelson Street to maintain flood protection while the work takes place in the Victoria Pier area.

A historical survey has been carried out on the statue of one of Hull’s most famous sons, William De La Pole. The statue will be protected while the work takes place. New street furniture and public art will be installed on completion of the work.

The original pier will not be affected by the works but public access will not be possible during construction.

Access will be reinstated once the construction of the new flood defence scheme has been completed.

Pedestrian access will be maintained along Nelson Street.

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, Ms 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 £2 million 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. Highways England Programme Development Manager Toni Rios said:

We are delighted to be able to support the Environment Agency and contribute around £2 million 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.

Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and environment at Hull City Council, said:

Work to Hull’s flood defences is absolutely crucial, considering the challenges posed to our city.

Protecting residents’ homes and businesses is a huge priority for the local authority and its partners, and we welcome the start of these works.

Following the number of extreme weather incidents experienced over the last six months coupled with the threat of climate change and rising sea levels, the need for protection is important now, more than ever.

All sections of the Humber Hull Frontages flood defence improvements scheme are expected to be completed in spring next year.

For more information on the scheme, click here

For more information about what to do in a flood and to sign up to receive free flood warnings, click here

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