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Boston Barrier Scheme Progresses With Arrival of New Gates

Second set of defence gates for Port of Boston delivered today

The Environment Agency’s Boston Barrier scheme has reached another milestone with the arrival on site of the second set of defence gates today (Friday 4 June 2021).

The vertical sector gates at the Port of Boston were transported across the North Sea from Rotterdam by barge, as was the primary barrier gate, which opened in December 2020.

The Boston Barrier scheme is expected to be fully completed at the end of 2022. Work on the scheme, which was identified by the government as critical infrastructure, has continued in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.

Adam Robinson, Boston Barrier project director for the Environment Agency, said:

The delivery of the vertical sector gates is another exciting milestone in this important scheme which takes us one step closer to final project completion.
These new gates will replace the current ones installed at the Port of Boston wet dock entrance, which were overtopped in the 2013 tidal surge. They will ensure continuity in the defence and better protection of homes and businesses downstream of the primary barrier gate over the next 100 years.

The gates will be lifted from the barge by crane onto Self-Propelled Modular Transporters, a type of remotely controlled vehicle, and will be driven to a temporary storage location on site in the coming days.

They will then be installed in the wet dock entrance by scheme contractors BAM Nuttall & Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (BMMJV) later this year.

Once installed and fully operational, the gates will better protect a further 524 properties from tidal flooding. This will take the total number of homes and businesses in Boston being better protected by the scheme to more than 14,000.

Hollandia Infra, the Dutch company which manufactured the gates, have painted the gates with 3 layers of a 150 micrometre technical coating, thereby ensuring they have sufficient corrosion protection for their 100-year design lifetime.

Once in place the wet dock entrance gates will be one of the final large components of the Boston Barrier scheme.

The scheme, along with the adjoining Boston Haven Banks improvement scheme – a separate Environment Agency project, which is raising the river banks either side of the Haven – is part of the Boston Combined Strategy, which provides a 100-year flood risk management plan for Boston.

As flooding cannot ever be fully prevented, people are advised to be prepared. Information and advice is available on including checking your flood risk, signing up for flood warnings, and knowing how to get help and what to do during and after a flood.

The Boston Barrier scheme 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.

Notes for Editors

  • PLEASE NOTE: the barrier delivery time may be postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

  • Those wanting to view the vertical sector gates delivery can do so from the footpath at Maud Foster sluice, but are reminded to do so in line with current coronavirus restrictions.

  • The Boston Barrier scheme was given the green light by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2017. Work began on site in January 2018.

  • The primary Boston Barrier gate is now fully operational and can be raised in just 20 minutes, better protecting more than 13,500 homes and businesses in the town.

  • Over 800 properties were flooded across the town in a tidal surge on 5 December 2013. The scheme is a National Priority Project for the Environment Agency.

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