December 16, 2020 10.26 am This story is over 41 months old

£100m Boston Barrier flood gate now operational

But there’s still a bit of work to do

By Local Democracy Reporter

A £100 million flood gate set up to protect Boston from sea levels overflowing is now ready and fully operational.

The Boston Barrier is now meant to provide flood protection to over 13,000 homes and businesses in the town. It’s hailed as one of the best flood defences in the country outside of London.

The barrier gate can be raised in just 20 minutes, offering a quick response to North Sea tidal surges.

A side view of the Boston Barrier’s mechanism. | Photo: Environment Agency

The whole £100 million Environment Agency scheme is now two-thirds complete, but isn’t expected to be entirely finished until 2022.

Further works will include installing a replacement flood gate at the Port of Boston wet dock entrance.

Once the project is completed, it is expected to reduce the flood risk to a further 1,000 homes and 800 businesses in Boston.

The barrier will respond quickly to North Sea tide levels. | Photo: Environment Agency

The barrier is part of the government’s long term flood and coastal defence investment, with over £2.6 billion being pumped into protecting the country from flooding.

It comes after more than 800 properties were flooded across Boston during a tidal surge in December 2013, forcing the project to become a national priority.

The River Witham close to overflowing in October 2019. | Photo: Daniel Jaines / The Lincolnite

Leader of Boston Borough Council, Cllr Paul Skinner, said: “Well done to the whole team who have worked incredibly hard over the past few years under very difficult circumstances and I thank you on behalf of the people of Boston.”

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “During this most difficult of years, I want to thank all of the teams who have shown great dedication and determination to reach this important milestone in a COVID secure way.

“Now that the barrier gate is fully operational, Boston is better prepared for what winter may bring, this year and for many years to come.”