Refurbishment starts on Colne Barrier flood defences

The Colne Barrier
Image caption The Colne Barrier was built in 1993 to protect homes from tidal surges

Refurbishment has started on a tidal flood defence on an Essex river.

Maintenance of 13 radial gates at the Colne Barrier in Wivenhoe will be carried out by the Environment Agency.

The gates are part of the barrier installed in 1993 to protect about 2,000 homes from tidal surges along the River Colne up to Colchester.

A new gate operating system will also be installed and in 2013 refurbishment will begin on two large mitre gates which make up the barrier.

Temporary "stop logs" will be used to provide protection while the radial gates are taken away a few at a time for repairs.

Project manager Claire Jouvray said: "On average we close the barrier 40 times a year, so this work is essential to ensure the Colne Barrier continues to work as it should."

The first phase of the work to the gates is expected to be completed by September.

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