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Test drilling starts for flood barrier

The Boston Barrier has moved a step closer with the start of important ground investigations.

The investigations will be focused in the Port of Boston, the riverbed of The Haven and the embankment on the opposite side of the channel.

The works are being done to get important information about the ground where the barrier will be built.

In the Port of Boston, a team will take concrete cores and dig trial pits. The information gathered will be used during the design of flood defence walls which will run along the quayside.

Boreholes will be dug along the embankment opposite the port. Again, these will be used to gather information for the design of flood walls. The public footpath which runs along the Haven bank will be closed during the drilling works and notices will be put in place.

Ground investigation works will also take place within The Haven river channel. These will be used to identify the make-up of the river bed. Samples will be taken using a floating pontoon located on the south side of the river. Vessels will still be able to pass.

The work is being carried out on behalf of the Boston Barrier Partnership by a specialist team of contractors from WYG and is expected to last ten to 12 weeks.

Mark Robinson, Environment Agency Senior Coastal Advisor, said: "This is an important step forward for the Boston Barrier project as this will inform a significant amount of the design work that we are doing now. We are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of tidal flooding in Boston as quickly as possible.

"We will try and keep any disruption to a minimum but there is likely to be some noise while we drill the boreholes."

Cllr Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: "The council has continued to press for this vital flood protection for Boston, so it is good to see progress being made. It is a huge and complicated project, but we are assured that it is going forward as fast as it possibly can."

Drilling will only happen in daylight hours, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. If anyone has any concerns, they can contact the Boston Barrier team at boston.barrier3@wyg.com or by telephone on 01623 684550.

The site for the £90.2million multi-functional flood barrier is just downstream of Black Sluice Lock on the Haven.

As well as reducing the risk of tidal flooding, during the boating season (April to October) the barrier will also manage water levels through Boston to create a safe and reliable inland navigation link between Grand Sluice and Black Sluice Locks. Water level management will be flexible so it doesn't prevent future navigation to The Wash.

The flood defence scheme is currently expected to begin construction in 2017 and be completed by December, 2019.

Proposed barrier location looking downstream past port on haven Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
The proposed barrier location looking downstream past Boston Port on The Haven