Somerset

Bridgwater Barrier design unveiled for River Parrett

Bridgwater Barrier Image copyright Sedgemoor District Council/Environment Agency
Image caption The barrier will be based near the Express Park in the north of Bridgwater

The preferred design and location of a major flood defence scheme along the River Parrett has been unveiled.

Sedgemoor District Council and the Environment Agency are working on the £60m project which also includes work to the flood banks downstream.

The Bridgwater Barrier will be built near Express Park in north Bridgwater.

Coastal engineer from the Environment Agency, John Buttivant said: "The site allows us good access to build, maintain and operate the structure."

"It's a site that works very well for us technically.

"It provides enough storage for river water from the sort of the floods that we saw in the winter of 2013-14 and it provides the flood protection we need downstream," he added.

Image copyright Sedgemoor District Council/Environment Agency
Image caption The barrier will cost £60m to build and should be completed by 2024

The structure will be 20m (65ft) high and 55m (180ft) wide and will have two separate gates each of which will be 10m (32ft) high and 15m (49ft) wide.

Mr Buttivant said: "There will be a central pier in the middle of the channel and two piers either side supporting the structure so it would look similar to some of the other structures we have in Somerset."

The cost of the scheme is being paid for by the Local Enterprise Partnership, central government, Somerset Rivers Authority and Sedgemoor District Council.

Building work on the barrier is set to begin in 2022, with completion due by 2024.

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