Work to improve Exmouth’s seafront defences paused for the summer
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:57 26 June 2020
Work to protect Exmouth from the winter storms has been paused for the summer having continued during lockdown
The £12 million Exmouth Tidal Defence Scheme is designed to reduce the risk of flooding but it was always scheduled to take a break for the summer so tourism would not be impacted.
The Environment Agency (EA)has removed most of the construction areas and reopened the seafront road.
Work continued during lockdown, with social distancing and safety procedures in place, after the Government classed it as critical infrastructure,
So far, a 660m long wall has been built from the boatyard to the Imperial Recreation Ground and sheet piled defences clad with recycled hardwood timber have been put in place at Camperdown Creek.
The Esplanade area from the Grove Pub, including Morton Crescent and the Imperial Hotel, has also had new defences built.
Flood manager for the EA, Ben Johnstone said: “We are now one step closer to a finished tidal defence scheme for the people of Exmouth.
“I am extremely proud of the team who have worked so hard to keep this vital work on track whilst adhering to Government guidance on coronavirus.
“I would also like to thank residents for their understanding and co-operation which has helped us get to this point. A lot has been achieved this year and I look forward to the next phase.”
EA contractors, Kier, will return to site later in the year and will start at Alexandra Terrace junction where they will add highways improvements, floodgate installation, landscaping and planting.
Once completed, East Devon District Council (EDDC) will maintain the defences built on council-owned land in the future.
Councillor Geoff Jung, coast, countryside and environment portfolio holder for EDDC said: “I would like to thank the contractors Kier and the Environment Agency for continuing this important project at this most difficult of times.
District council Exmouth Town ward members councillors Olly Davey, Joe Whibley and Eileen Wragg said: “With more than two thirds of the scheme completed, thanks to the works continuing by Kier and the EA throughout the current crisis, Exmouth will have much better protection ahead of the winter storms.”
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