A project which will provide protection from the risk of flooding to over 1,500 homes and businesses in Lowestoft takes a step forwards this week with the undertaking of marine investigation works in the outer harbour.

Part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project, the works began on Monday 1 February for a period of four weeks and will involve the drilling of test holes in the riverbed ranging from 10 to 40 metres deep, from a jack-up barge. The works will take place at the harbour entrance, east of the Bascule Bridge and will provide information on the ground structure to inform the design of the foundations of the tidal barrier.

Cllr David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management said:

“These works are an important step in the project. The results will inform the design of the foundations of the tidal barrier. The works, beginning next week, will last for four weeks. While the works will be taking place 24 hours per day, seven days per week, due to their nature we do not anticipate any excessive noise. We are extremely grateful for the support of the Port and all those that use the harbour in helping us to move this forward.”

Tom Farley, Project Manager for Balfour Beatty, said:

“The commencement of tidal barrier ground investigation works signifies the next step in the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management project, which on completion will protect over 1,500 homes and businesses from the risk of flooding.

“Our experience and flood prevention capabilities will enable us to successfully and safely deliver the scheme, whilst also making a real and sustainable contribution to the local community through the Scape framework – including a number of employment opportunities for nearby residents.”

Extensive planning and risk assessments have taken place to ensure risks of Covid-19 are mitigated including the provision of PPE and rapid testing. The team will be working in bubbles and in specific areas of the barge to reduce the risk of potential virus spread. The works will adhere to the Construction Leadership Site Operating Procedures (SOP), along with several good practice measures to ensure social distancing on site.

Find out more about the project at www.lowestoftfrmp.org.uk