Published Friday 20 March 2015 at 14:15
Plans are being discussed to bring a £3.5m flood reductions scheme to Blackburn.
The Environment Agency, with Blackburn with Darwen Council, is proposing a new £3.5 million flood reduction scheme for the River Blakewater between the Blackburn Youth Zone and the Ambulance Station of George Street West.
The proposed scheme will reduce flood risk to over 200 local homes and businesses in Blackburn.
A new bridge, which is part of the new Freckleton Link Road, will form an important part of the flood defence works. It has been designed to fit in with the EA flood defences particularly its foundations which will require sections of new wall to be built as well as alterations to the existing river walls to increase their height between Byrom Street and Freckleton Street.
Blackburn suffered flooding from the River Blakewater and localised surface water flooding in 2002 and 2004. Since that time, there have been a number of near misses.
In addition to this the scheme will also increase surface water drainage to the river. This work will be completed in conjunction with Blackburn with Darwen Council’s construction of the new Freckleton Street link road. Working together will reduce costs and minimise any disruption to residents during the construction of the schemes.
Over the last year the Environment Agency has been working with local businesses to develop an outline design for the flood alleviation scheme. Following a competitive tender process, the Environment Agency has appointed Volker Stevin and Atkins (VBA) to develop this design and then construct the scheme.
The Environment Agency and VBA will be working with local landowners over the coming months to discuss these designs in more detail and manage the impact on local business and residents during construction.
The scheme is scheduled to begin construction in summer 2015 with the work taking around one year to complete.
Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “The work being carried out around the new bridge and in and around this part of the River Blakewater will strengthen flood defences and work towards protecting homes there.
“This scheme is essential and will This scheme will reduce the risk of flooding in the future for homes and businesses in the town centre. This area has suffered from flooding and near misses in the past and whilst we can’t prevent flooding, we reduce the risk and impact of sudden downpours. By combining the bridge works with the construction of the new link road, we hope it will reduce disruption for residents and business in the town centre.”
Colin Worswick from the Environment Agency said: “We are delighted to be working with Blackburn with Darwen Council to reduce the risk of flooding for Blackburn’s residents from the River Blakewater. The new taller reinforced walls will provide an improved level of protection to the local community.
“It is also essential that people know their flood risk and have a Flood Action Plan in place, so they know what to do if it happens.
“By signing up for Environment Agency Flood Warnings you can stay one step ahead and give yourself vital time to prepare. To sign up, and for further information, visit the GOV.UK website or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.”