Barriers across Welney Wash will replace sand-bags and protect villagers from flooding says Environment Agency

PUBLISHED: 13:06 21 January 2020

New fllood defence barriers to be installed at Welney by the Environment Agency. Picture; EA

New fllood defence barriers to be installed at Welney by the Environment Agency. Picture; EA

Archant

New barriers will be installed at Welney this summer in a bid to make the community feel safer and to replace sand- bags that are currently used if water levels rise dramatically.

The Environment Agency announced details of the proposals last year and said today that work on the barrier is "still underway and is expected to be complete this summer,".

A spokesman said: "In the meantime we remain ready to take measures to protect the local community from flooding if needed. Until the project is complete we would use 1-tonne sandbags to fill the low spot if levels required it - but currently that trigger-level hasn't been reached."

The spokesman explained that since 2017 their contractors have been raising the crest of the Middle Level Barrier Bank.

"The Welney Wash road, or A1101, creates a significant low spot in the bank," he said. "Historically, when the reservoir has been full, this low spot has been filled using temporary 1 tonne sandbags to prevent water spilling out. As part of our project we are proposing to replace the sandbag solution with a more robust demountable defence for the Welney Wash road."

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The Environment Agency say they will be using a dedicated demountable barrier system which would be installed across the road once the Norfolk County Council has instigated a road closure.

The spokesman said "The barrier will consist of aluminium posts fixed in place across the road with planks slotted in between.

"Each end post will be fixed to a concrete wall built into the bank on each side of the road.

"The intermediate posts will be bolted to a concrete foundation slab cast across the road. The top of the wall, the top of the barrier and the bank crest will all be at the same level."

The Environment Agency spokesman added: "We want to make sure we do this work at a time that limits the impact on the local community and road users so we are planning it during the summer of 2020, subject to engagement and agreement with the local community."

The barriers will be stored at their Ely depot "ready for deployment when the level of water is posing a flood risk to the Welney community". Meanwhile the road remains closed.

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