Work has begun on the construction of vital flood defenses along Broadgate and Riverside.
On Friday 11 November, the advisers visited the Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management Program for an update on the progress of the work.
Preston Councilors Carol Henshaw and Robert Boswell met with the Environment Agency and contractors VolkerStein to witness the groundbreaking at the site.
Construction of the first phase of the new £54.7million scheme has begun with preliminary works to reinforce sewers and divert services along Broadgate. Work has now started on the defenses with piles for the foundations of the flood walls.
The flood program will help reduce the risk of flooding for approximately 5,000 homes and businesses along the River Ribble. Construction of the first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
As part of the scheme, improvements will also be made to Broadgate Gardens, including pollinator-friendly flowers, better seating and the planting of fruit trees.
Some trees had to be felled to make room for construction work and to prevent the new defensive walls from being undermined by tree roots. However, over 16,000 new trees will be planted as part of the project, including 13,000 trees at Fishwick Bottoms along the river.
Disruption to the local community will be minimized where possible and any road closures, detours and changes to parking will be communicated to residents in advance. Noise and vibration monitors will be in place during the work.
Councilor Carol Henshaw, who represents and lives in the inner city district and is a cabinet member for climate change, said: ‘It was helpful to discuss what is happening with the flood scheme. I am relieved that the flood defenses are now underway and will better protect residents when completed.
“I am happy that glass panels are used in certain areas so that residents can continue to see and enjoy the river.
“I am also pleased to hear that a small orchard will be included in the improvements to Broadgate Gardens which will benefit the community.”