Road surface work suspended as flood barriers go up in Ironbridge again

Flood barriers were going up again in Ironbridge today as work was suspended on the road surface, part of improvements to the flood defences.

Resurfacing work on the Wharfage has been suspended
Resurfacing work on the Wharfage has been suspended

Contractors had begun work on the Wharfage at Ironbridge to help ensure barriers are not in danger of moving if they are employed to stop the River Severn flooding.

The Environment Agency said the work had now been suspended to allow the barriers to be erected this morning.

Resurfacing work on the Wharfage has been suspended

The agency said on Tuesday night: "Ironbridge temporary flood barriers going up tomorrow [Wednesday].

"Due to heavy rain across Shropshire & upper Severn, barriers are needed to protect communities from #flooding.

"Wharfage resurfacing prep work had started, however this work is postponed while the barriers are needed."

It comes after flood barriers were put up in Frankwell in Shrewsbury this week as river levels rose and t was forecast that Storm Christoph could bring two months’ worth of average rainfall in just two-and-a-half days to parts of the UK.

Watch the Met Office forecast:

During the flood in February last year the barriers along the Wharfage threatened to buckle leading to a plea from emergency services for people to leave their properties.

The barriers held but this week Telford & Wrekin Council's flood management team began work to the road surface.

After a review of the issues faced after the February 2020 floods, the council pledged make the World Heritage Site more resilient to flooding.

Recent improvements to the method of deployment were tested before Christmas when the Environment Agency erected the flood defence due to the high river levels.

The current work now means that road closures are in place until the work is due for completion on February 7.

The Ironbridge flood barriers. Pic: Environment Agency.

When the measures were first announced Adam Lines, Area Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We have reviewed and improved their method of deployment, which we adopted in the erection of the barriers in December.

“These measures include the way we put the barriers in place to allow for a wider waterproof membrane to the front of the barriers, which increases protection. We have also reviewed how we can make them even better secured, particularly around trees; and how the road can be adapted to reduce the chance of movement of the barrier."

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for flood management said: “Since the floods last winter, we have done a lot of work with the Environment Agency to produce this bespoke and innovative road design specifically for Ironbridge including investigative work on how we can minimise the risk of the flood barriers being moved again by force of a flooded River Severn. It led to identifying new ways for the Environment Agency to put the barriers in place, especially around trees.

“The Wharfage will be resurfaced by Telford & Wrekin Council’s highways contractor Balfour Beatty with a new material to improve friction. When laid, the new road surface will be designed flatter and slightly sloping towards the river to further reduce the risk of any slippage by the barriers.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News