£27m sea defence project to end when road opens

A completed section of the new sea wall at Anchorsholme
A completed section of the new sea wall at Anchorsholme
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A two-and-a-half year, £27m sea defence project will finally end on Monday, when a road running along the Promenade opens.

Around 4,800 homes and businesses are set to benefit from the scheme, which the council said offers better flood protection for those living close to Princes Way in Anchorsholme.

It will open almost three years to the day after the road last flooded, and will have a shelf-life of 100 years.

The previous flood defences, which dated back to the 1930s, have been built over, and around 3,000 tonnes of steel have been used.

The road is now around one metre higher to the same level as the nearby Anchorsholme Park in the hope it will prevent further flooding.

Some 2,500 concrete slabs have also been used, while wave breaker units and wave walls have been installed to help protect homes.

But there’s bad news for motorhome enthusiasts well known for using Princes Way to stay overnight – pay and display machines have been introduced following complaints from residents, town hall officials said.

Coun Fred Jackson, the council’s cabinet member for municipal assets, said: “Dealing with the strong winds and heavy tides on the seafront makes all coastal defence works difficult and this has been no exception.

“However the end result will be a fantastic new promenade and better flood protection which will benefit everybody.

“Over £100m of investment is taking place in Anchorsholme at the moment with the sea defence scheme and United Utilities reconstruction of the park.

“I am extremely grateful to the neighbours and the local community for being so patient while the construction work continues and can guarantee them that the end result will be worth the disruption.”

The United Utilities development will see a new underground storm water tank at Anchorsholme Park as well as new public amenities including a cafe and bowling club building, landscaping, footpaths, a multi-use games area and children’s playground.

Simon Barker, project director for Balfour Beatty, the main contractor for the new sea defences, said: “With the project nearing completion the local community will not only have much greater protection from the risk of flooding but also a fantastic new promenade that can be enjoyed by all.”

The road is expected to re-open mid-morning in both directions.

The council hopes that will ease congestion caused by the closure of Anchorsholme Lane West, also on Monday, to allow construction work to take place at Anchorsholme Park for renovations by United Utilities.

Some additional work on the Promenade headland at the junction with Anchorsholme Lane West will still need to be completed in the new year.

Temporary traffic lights may be needed.