Safe arrival of Boston Barrier for tidal flood alleviation scheme

Safe arrival of Boston Barrier for tidal flood alleviation scheme

Camberley, 15 November 2019 - A 300-tonne tidal flood gate has arrived in Lincolnshire, and is being installed as part of the Boston Barrier Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The Environment Agency scheme is a key part of the Boston Combined Strategy which will better protect the surrounding area from tidal flooding well into the next century. The barrier gate delivery marks an important milestone in the project and once fully commissioned, will better protect 14,000 homes from tidal flooding.

The Boston Barrier gate has been shipped by barge from the Netherlands, and contractors, BMMJV (a joint venture made up of BAM Nuttall and Mott McDonald), have driven the 29 m wide steel structure into place.

Moving the barrier gate into position is a highly technical process. Steel sheet piles in the construction area were cut down in preparation for the barrier gate to be driven off the barge and over a temporary installation bridge by remotely controlled vehicles. The whole process, from delivery to completed installation took three days.

Steve Lowder, Project Manager, BMMJV, said: ‘The delivery of the barrier gate is the culmination of hard work and collaboration by BMMJV its Client, and all the suppliers working on the project. The arrival of the barrier is a major milestone for the project. We’ve been working around the clock to get to this point and look forward to successfully completing the next steps of the scheme downstream. The team has achieved an exemplary safety record, and are proud to protect and improve the environment for people living and working in the local community.’

Next steps

Now the barrier is in place it will be connected to the hydraulic rams and control systems before undergoing essential safety and commissioning tests.  The current navigation channel at the side of the construction works will then need to be closed for the barrier to be effective. The barrier commissioning will commence immediate and infill of the bypass channel is to commence in the New Year, and it is anticipated that the barrier will be ready for full operation by summer 2020.

Once the barrier is fully operational, Boston town centre would be protected against a tidal surge similar to what was experienced in December 2013, when almost 800 properties and business flooded across 55 streets.

The final stages of the scheme include installing a more flood resilient gate at the Port of Boston wet-dock entrance, and associated works to tie the project into the Haven Banks Scheme – a separate project that will raise and strengthen the existing flood banks running from the barrier towards the Wash for a distance of 5 km.

When complete, the £100 million Boston scheme will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to more than 14,000 properties in the town. It will give Boston one of the best standards of defence against tidal flooding outside of London.  

Time-lapse video footage (1 min; showing the arrival of the Boston Barrier from the Netherlands:)

Arrival of the Boston Barrier from the Netherlands.

About BMMJV - a joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Mott McDonald, since 2014. Delivering numerous flood alleviation projects including Exeter, Hull, Dawlish and Dorset, collaborating and sharing expertise, experience and innovative solutions to enhance people’s lives and protect local communities and businesses. Teams from our projects regularly participate in community activities, including food drives, careers advice and visits to schools.

About BAM - Royal BAM Group nv is one of Europe’s largest contractors, delivering exceptional engineering, design, construction, property management and investment services. BAM’s ten operating companies work globally in five European home markets and in niche markets worldwide. The Group turnover £7 billion annually and is listed on Euronext, Amsterdam.

BAM employs approximately 20,000 people, who collaborate to support a diverse range of public and private sector customers, BAM has a worldwide reputation for building sustainable environments that enhance people’s lives - including rail, marine, tunnelling, highways, energy and water schemes. BAM enables the right people to capitalise on state-of-the-art knowledge, resources and digital technologies, providing solutions across the total construction life cycle.

BAM Nuttall, along with BAM Construct UK and BAM PPP in the UK, is one of Royal BAM Group’s ten operating companies. As well as creating sustainable solutions, that help modernise and improve civilisation, we aim to enhance the lives of our people and people in the organisations and communities we work alongside. We care about people and the planet as well as being a well-run profitable business BAM aims to achieve a net positive impact on society.

About Mott MacDonald - Opening opportunities with connected thinking. Mott MacDonald is a US$2bn engineering, management and development consultancy. We’re involved in:

  • solving some of the world’s most urgent social, environmental and economic challenges
  • helping governments and businesses plan, deliver and sustain their strategic goals
  • responding to humanitarian and natural emergencies
  • improving people’s lives

Our expertise by sector includes buildings, communications, defence, education, environment, health, industry, mining, oil and gas, power, transport, urban development, water, wastewater and more. Our skills encompass planning, studies and design, project finance, technical advisory services, project and programme management, management consultancy and beyond.

For every project, we create the blend of talent needed to create the right result – appropriate; cost, carbon and resource-efficient; safe, easy and swift to deliver and operate; reliable and resilient; delivering great outcomes. Engineering. Management.

About the Environment Agency - 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.

For more information about the Boston Barrier, drop into the Boston Barrier hub every Wednesday from 12 noon - 7pm at Marsh Lane, PE21 7PJ or follow @BostonBarrierEA on Twitter and Boston Barrier on Facebook Alternatively, email or call 07769 937 012.

For general enquiries about the wider work of the Environment Agency call the National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506506. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to a 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.

Remain vigilant about flooding over the winter period. You can sign up to receive free flood warnings by phone, email or text message at: