16 Sep 2010
Birse Civils North West is currently completing a £5.6m Thacka Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme in Penrith for the Environment Agency.
Work started on site on 16 March 2010 and the scheme is running a month ahead of schedule with completion planned for November this year. More than 250 homes and 110 businesses will benefit from the scheme which will significantly reduce the chance of flooding in the town.
The Sandgate section of culvert installation involved 21m of 2.2m x 1.4m box culvert being placed in a narrow alleyway between two listed buildings. The construction methodology had to include for over pumping the existing water flows, as well as heavily restricted access. This section was originally programmed to take eight weeks, however work was actually completed within two weeks of continuous operations.
The full works comprise the restoration, replacement and cleaning of 600m of culvert carrying Thacka Beck under Penrith town centre, together with the creation of a 76,000 cubic metre flood storage basin upstream. The basin will hold back flood water and reduce the risk of the culverts overflowing, as well as provide an enhanced wildlife area.
Environment Agency Project Manager, Mike Harper, said: “We have now completed the two most technical parts of the scheme at Sandgate and Friargate. At Sandgate, the width of the passage we were laying the culverts through was barely any wider than the pre-cast culvert we were installing.
“Through careful planning, Birse Civils were able to carry out the work without affecting the adjacent buildings and the work was completed swiftly with access restored promptly to the affected buildings.”