Construction work has started to improve the Port of Tilbury’s flood defences with the installation of new dual-function flood lock gates
The existing port lock gates will be replaced with pioneering dual function lock gates, and the Environment Agency’s tidal barrier will be removed.
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 £34m, 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.
This scheme is part of the government’s long-term investment in flood and coastal defences. Since 2015 it has invested £2.6bn 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 £5.2bn investment in flood and coastal defences and the National FCRM Strategy will help build a better prepared and more resilient nation.
A key part of the new flood strategy
James Bevan, Environment Agency chief executive, said: “We are investing £5.2bn in flood defences over the next 6 years.
“The Port of Tilbury is vital to our national economy. The new scheme is an important and exciting project that has both flood protection and navigational purpose and will help protect jobs and growth.
“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.”
Paul Dale, Port of Tilbury’s asset and site director, added: “This is a very important project and an impressive engineering solution that will provide flood defences for homes and businesses in the area for decades to come while ensuring the smooth marine operations at The Port of Tilbury.”