Construction work has started on an innovative scheme to improve Tilbury’s flood defences with the installation of new dual function flood lock gates.
In a project of national importance, the existing port lock gates will be replaced with pioneering dual function lock gates, and the Environment Agency’s tidal barrier will be removed.
This is a major joint project between the Environment Agency and The Port of Tilbury that will safeguard thousands of homes and businesses in the local area.
Work started in January and is expected to last for 18 months with the new lock gates planned for installation in late 2021/early 2022.
Once the work is completed it will ensure a high standard of flood protection for Tilbury and provide a new navigation lock for operations at the busy port.
Planning for this project has been underway with the Environment Agency and the Port of Tilbury for several years. With total scheme costs of around £34 million, the Port of Tilbury London Ltd (PoTLL) is providing a multi-million-pound contribution to the project and will take responsibility for operation and maintenance of the new dual function structure. Funding has also been secured from the Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Councillor Gerard Rice represents Thurrock Council on this Committee.
The Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 Programme (TEAM2100) will deliver the work in partnership with a number of contractors including Jacobs and Balfour Beatty.
The Tilbury barrier will reduce flood risk for the port, residents and business. It is a key part of the Environment Agency’s new Flood Strategy, which aims to make the country resilient to flooding and coastal change – today, tomorrow and to the year 2100.
This scheme is part of the government’s long-term investment in flood and coastal defences. Since 2015 it has invested £2.6 billion to better protect the country from flooding and coastal erosion and is on course to have better protected 300,000 homes by March 2021. Earlier this year, the government announced a record £5.2 billion investment in flood and coastal defences and the National FCRM Strategy will help build a better prepared and more resilient nation.
The original port lock gates were installed in 1928 and Tilbury Barrier was constructed in 1980-1981.