Work to strengthen riverside walls along Lincoln’s Foss Bank is under way, as part of a £6 million investment in the city’s flood defences.

New steel piles are being driven into the riverbank upstream of Brayford Pool, reinforcing the existing defences and maintaining the area’s standard of protection.

Measures are being taken to reduce the potential impact on residents, including a ‘silent piler’ to significantly lessen both noise and vibration.

The work at Foss Bank is being carried out from a pontoon in the river, reducing the need for road closures and footpath diversions. A river traffic light system is in place with staff on hand to make navigation safe for boaters.

Residential boats moored in the area will need to be temporarily moved while the work is underway. And there will be some minor disruption to parking bays on Foss Bank.

The work is expected to be completed in October, subject to water levels.

It is all part of a wider scheme that will maintain the existing standard of flood-risk protection for around 4,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln.

Led by the Environment Agency, the £6 million Lincoln Defences Project began in June 2019.

To date, it has included the refurbishment of Stamp End Sluice and defences at Sincil Dyke next to Lincoln City Football Club, Stamp End, Dixon Street and Spa Road.

Work between Dixon Street and Altham Terrace, where 500 metres of new steel piles were driven into the Witham’s riverbank, was completed last month.

This reinforced the existing defences, reducing the seepage through the bank and maintaining the area’s standard of protection against flooding. The embankment’s footpath has been reinstated, after it was temporarily diverted during the work.

When complete, the entire Lincoln Defences project will have renovated more than 2 kilometres of riverside walls and 3 sluices, as well as introduced environmental improvements. It is expected to generate economic benefits valued at almost £33 million.

Morgan Wray, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Lincoln’s network of defensive walls and sluices work well to reduce the risk of flooding to around 4,000 >properties.

Naturally, despite regular maintenance, they do need to be repaired, improved and updated from time to time.

This investment will ensure they continue to offer the same reliable standard of protection for years to come, >while – at the same time – introducing measures that will enhance the environment for wildlife.

But it’s important to recognise that we can never completely eliminate the risk of flooding, and would urge people to check if they’re at risk, and sign up to receive free flood warnings via GOV.UK/Flood or 0345 988 1188. These will give you invaluable notice when flooding is expected, and details of what you should do to keep safe, as well as protect your home and valuables.

The Lincoln Defences Project has been funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as part of its commitments to reduce the risk of flooding to 300,000 properties across the country between 2015 and 2021, and to 336,000 properties between 2021 and 2027.

Work on the Lincoln Defences Project has continued during the coronavirus outbreak, with strict adherence to social distancing measures.

Further information

The Lincoln Defences Project includes:

  • Repairs to 2 kilometres of defensive walls at various location on the River Witham.
  • The introduction of coir rolls: tubes of compacted organic matter that reduce the risk of erosion and provide habitat.
  • Mechanical and electrical upgrades to sluices at Great Gowt, Bargate and Stamp End.
  • New and improved access to 51 kilometres of waterway for fish and eels – 17 kilometres from Brayford Pool to Torksey Look via Bargate Sluice; and 34 kilometres from Stamp End to Claypole via Stamp End Sluice.

About the Capital Programme

  • In 2015, the Environment Agency secured £2.6 billion of government funding to protect 300,000 homes over a 6 year period.
  • In the 2020 Budget the government doubled its investment in flood and coastal scheme construction in England by committing a record £5.2 billion between 2021 and 2027. This long-term commitment will better protect 336,000 properties, including homes, businesses and critical infrastructure.

About the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy

The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy was adopted in autumn 2020 and sets the blueprint for how the Environment Agency and other organisations will manage flood and coastal change from now until 2100.

The Environment Agency is the leading organisation for protecting and improving the environment in England. It is responsible for making sure that air, land and water are looked after by today’s society, so that tomorrow’s generations inherit a cleaner, healthier world. Its five-year plan for reaching a cleaner, greener and healthier future is available on GOV.UK.

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