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Barrier gets three-spades start

It's definitely coming - spades went into the soil to officially mark the beginning of construction of the Boston Barrier on Monday.

The Floods Minister Therese Coffey, Boston MP Matt Warman and Toby Willison, from the Environment Agency, counted to three and drove three spades into The Haven bank.

The £100 million project is on target to be in operation by the end of 2019.

The initial work involves dredging over 5,000 cubic metres of silt from the Boston Haven to make it ready for construction.

Over the coming months steel sheet pile walling will be installed to strengthen the riverbanks in preparation for the barrier.

When complete the 25-metre wide hydraulically-powered barrier across the river will protect around 14,000 homes and businesses from flooding. When not in use it will remain hidden, flat on the riverbed.

In December, 2013, around 800 properties were flooded in Boston. Flooding has also happened in 1953 and 1978.

There will also be new flood defence walls on both banks and a replacement gate across the entrance to the existing Port of Boston wet dock.

"This Government investment will make sure Boston is one of the best protected towns on the east coast and I am proud to be putting the first spade in the ground on this project," said Floods Minister Therese Coffey.

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