People across the UK were shocked to see dramatic images of floods surging through Leeds in December 2015 as the River Aire burst its banks, swelled by record-breaking rainfall. Leeds has long been at significant risk of flooding and climate change is progressively increasing this risk.
The first phase of the scheme reduces the flood risk of over 3,500 residential and commercial city centre properties together with key access routes to the train station area, telecommunications, internet facilities, electricity sub-stations and over 300 acres of developable land. The scheme has created 150 direct jobs and safeguards 22,000 more over the next 10 years, supporting the further growth and regeneration of the Leeds City Region economy with particular emphasis on the newly protected South Bank of the city – Europe’s largest regeneration area with potential to create 35,000 jobs and 4,000 homes, and the terminus of HS2.
The scheme includes three principle elements:
- Linear defences comprising masonry clad concrete walls and glazed panels along the river through the city centre
- Innovative moveable weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop which can be lowered in flood conditions
- Removal of an island between the river and adjacent canal along with targeted dredging to increase storage? and conveyance capacity within the river
The work is being delivered by BMMJV, a joint venture between Mott MacDonald and BAM Nuttall. This is one of six large projects won by the JV in the region, a 100% success rate.