Ipswich Wet Dock

Flood Gates

  • Client
    Environment Agency
  • Value
    £1.1m
  • Duration
    40 weeks
This project was part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing programme to upgrade Ipswich’s flood defences and one of a number of schemes overseen by Jackson on the town’s waterfront.
The existing wet lock flood gates fell short of the new defence standards by almost 1.2m and needed to be replaced.

Inspection of the lock gates were carried out within neap tide periods to minimise the risk of flooding to Ipswich during the works. Detailed surveys of the lock quions, pintels and seals were carried out by divers.

Anchors away

The new gates were fabricated in Holland and transported directly to Ipswich by barge. As the new gates weighed 50 tonnes each and were larger than their predecessors, the existing top anchors had to be upgraded to cope with the additional load.

New top anchor pads, straps and castles were cast with 30m-long ground anchors to enable the refurbished structure to withstand the extra load. Ground radar and trial holes were used to identify where the anchors could be placed because the team was working in a restricted area with numerous uncharted services and cables.

Additional work

Additional work carried out by Jackson across this programme included the construction of flood defences on the east and west bank of Ipswich dock. The works included sheet and secant piling as well as raising a port access road over the main outfall to the Ipswich surface water drainage.

Attractive paving and street furniture was installed on the west bank as part of the regeneration of the area whilst there was also a requirement to work around a restricted area where knotweed was growing.

Jackson also constructed a 2.1m diameter tunnel under the wet lock to enable 125kV cables, which previously ran across the river bed, to be diverted and the site cleared for construction.

'Jackson is an Ipswich-based company and I’m a native of Suffolk, so it has been very satisfying to work to protect the port and Ipswich from the threat of flooding over the past decade.'

Stephen Christian, Contracts Manager, Jackson Civil Engineering

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