Creating a community resilient to flooding and coastal change
The Bridgwater Tidal Barrier team are delighted that the Secretary of State granted the legal powers to construct the re barrier – the Transport Works Act Order (TWAO) – after a long and complex process. This is a major milestone for the Scheme and means we can now move forward to detailed design and construction of the barrier and the associated elements. Whilst the TWAO has now been granted, there is still a great deal of work to be carried out ahead of construction.
They also started ground and archaeology investigations for the scheme in early January. The works will provide us with further information to help influence the detailed design of the scheme and investigate the archaeological potential of the area.
They recently held a successful open day for the archaeology investigations. All timeslots filled up fast and we received some great feedback. Each slot started with an introduction at the Somerset Brick and Tile Museum, followed by a tour of the excavations. Over 100 peole joined us throughout the day, and visitors were highly appreciative of the opportunity to learn about local history, with several of our younger visitors even expressing an interest in archaeology as a career.
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What they’ve been doing
While waiting for the decision on the TWAO, we have been busy working on several pieces of important work to help shape the detailed design of the scheme.
- They have appointed Atkins as our a consultant and Kier as our contractor to complete the detailed design phase.
- They have carried out ground investigations and archaeological surveys as mentioned above.
- They have completed topographical surveys both on foot and by drone.
- They have continued discussions with local landowners to explain the proposals and understand their views and any concerns.
- They carried out early ecological surveys in the local area, to help us to plan our detailed design and better understand the local environment. These included surveys for bats, water voles, great crested newts and habitat surveys.
What they’ve been doing cont…
- They are engaging with local schools –
we have been fortunate to attract some funding from the Department for Education to contribute towards the cost of constructing the barrier, and also to engage with local schools on the risks and dangers of flooding. Four local schools were identified as being currently at risk of flooding and will directly benefit from the Barrier Scheme. We are carrying out interactive sessions with the schools, engaging young people and talking to them not just about the scheme, but flooding and the impacts of climate change.
- They continue to work with our partners and to source additional funding to carry out work on items not directly included in the barrier scheme, for example landscaping and further enhancements to the natural environment.
- They are striving to reduce the carbon impact of our project and are considering the materials used and our methods both
pre and during construction.
What’s coming up in the next six months?
They anticipate construction will begin in the autumn with site establishment and then enabling work in spring 2023 and it is likely to take around four to six years to complete all elements of the scheme.
They will hold a public exhibition later in the year to share more detail on the work we have carried out and our future programme. We look forward to seeing you then.
They will keep you updated as the Scheme progresses through the detailed design stage
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