BAM Nuttall starts work on next stage Leeds flood scheme
BAM Nuttall, together with Mott MacDonald, started construction of new flood protection infrastructures on the river Aire, upstream of Leeds city. The start marks the beginning of the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
The first phase of the Leeds flood scheme, that included flood protection barriers inside the city, was completed by BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald in 2017. This second phase will address the more catchment wide approach to reducing flood risks, including the construction of new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area that releases water only when safe.
Leeds City Council is working alongside the Environment Agency on this second phase which aims to invest 112.1 million UK pound in flood prevention measures to better protect 1,048 homes and 474 businesses.
In December 2015 when storm Eva hit the UK, the water level in the River Aire rose to a record height of 2.95 meter at Leeds Crown Point. Large parts of the city center were flooded.
Prevent a recurrence
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: ‘Seeing work happening on the ground will hopefully give reassurance to the communities, businesses and residents in the Kirkstall Corridor and upstream that soon they will have measures in place to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic damage and pain caused by the impact of Storm Eva.’
Blake called on the government to keep supporting her city in achieving the highest possible level of flood protection, ‘and make our city as resilient as we can make it to the increasing threat of extreme weather events due to climate change.’
The project also incorporates a flagship Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme. Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding.
A team, led by Leeds City Council, is working with partners and landowners across the catchment to deliver a range of measures, such as the creation of new woodland and other natural features. These techniques will hold back water to help reduce the flow of rainwater into the river and help reduce the impacts of climate change.