Earlier this month (April 2017) the Environment Agency issued a progress report on work at the Foss Barrier. The £17 million upgrade of the Barrier and Pumping Station is running to schedule, with work on target to finish before the end of this year.
Work carried out during 2016 meant that by Christmas of that year – the first anniversary – the pumping station could already cope with any repeat of the river levels that caused the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
This year’s work, which includes strengthening the electricity supply to the station, will make the Barrier able to deal with even greater water flows down the Foss in future.
An agency spokesman said new pumps installed last year increased the capacity to about 40 tonnes per second, and it would be able to cope with the higher capacity by the end of this year when an increased power supply would be in place.
“Work is progressing to schedule for the new building with increased pumping capacity to be operational by December 2017,” said the spokesman.
“The first floor of the old pumphouse building has been demolished and foundations prepared for the new steel frame, on which work will commence after Easter. The barrier remains fully operational while the upgrade work is being carried out.”
He said that in addition to the barrier upgrade, the agency was looking at some local works on the River Foss as well.
“We will be looking at where high flows spill out of the River Foss channel and what measures can be taken to keep it within channel to provide an additional level of protection to that provided by the upgraded barrier.”