BMMJV, a joint venture of Bam Nuttall and Mott MacDonald, has secured a contract to build the £100m Boston Barrier, which will protect more than 14,000 properties from tidal flooding.
The contract has been awarded after the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and HM Treasury have given a green light for the project.
The tidal barrier will include a moveable gate across the River Witham (known locally as the Haven), a new control building to operate the barrier, new flood defence walls on both banks, and a replacement gate across the entrance to the existing Port of Boston wet dock. Work is set to begin in January 2018.
The barrier is expected to make Boston one of the best protected areas from flooding outside London.
Boston was flooded in 1953, 1978, and during the tidal surge on 5 December 2013 when defences were over-topped, damaged or breached. The recent incident flooded more than 800 properties across 55 streets.
The Environment Agency is investing £2.5bn across the country to build 1,500 flood defences, which are expected to reduce the risk to 300,000 homes by 2021.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “Not only is this fantastic news for the 14,000 home and business owners who will be better protected from flooding – Boston’s new state-of-the-art defences will help attract investment, benefitting the wider area.
“This is just one of many flood schemes being built in Lincolnshire and we are investing £229m over six years to better protect communities across the county.”
Environment Agency chairperson Emma Howard Boyd said: “The Boston Barrier scheme is an inspiring example of collaborative work between the Environment Agency, councils, businesses and the local community.
“I am pleased that it will help to protect more than 14,000 homes and businesses from the kind of flooding the town experienced in December 2013.”
BMMJV framework director Allan Rogers said: “We are looking forward to delivering this innovative flood protection scheme. We have a proven track record of success having recently completed phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.”