The Ipswich Tidal Barrier is a £27million project which comprises the design, delivery to site, off-loading, construction, commissioning and maintenance of a tidal barrier across the mouth of the New Cut on the River Orwell. It will provide both tidal defense and velocity control. The Project is the final element of a £58m programme of work by the Environment Agency (EA), to upgrade the flood defences on the East and West bank of the tidal river, protecting Ipswich against flooding for the next 100 years.
The site is within a live port, on the tidal River Orwell. Access is a major challenge the project team has faced. A logistics plan has been developed to ensure resources are deployed efficiently and ensure the access to both sides of the tidal barrier is managed both safely and securely. The east part of the site is located within an ABP port which is a secure facility with close interfaces with both trade and leisure land based and marine traffic. The West part of the site includes a rail line servicing an aggregates business. The site is effectively divided in 2 by the New Cut with the access strategy for heavy plant and key components such as the 200 tonne tidal gate and 1500t mobile crane required to install it critical.
There is also challenging ground conditions which required the design of deep piled foundations and the integration of complex temporary works within the permanent design. Logistics was once again the main challenge with both land and marine based access methods utilized.