A new £750,000 overflow weir project which channels water off the Rochdale Canal has been completed.
It’s hoped the work at Gauxholme will reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in Todmorden.
The Environment Agency scheme channels water directly into Walsden Water if the canal overflows and is not reliant on control systems to operate. This means that long-term maintenance costs will be reduced and eliminates the chance of mechanical failure.
Project Manager for the Environment Agency, James Walton said: “We’re really pleased with the outcome of this project. The recent heavy rain put the new overflow weir to the test – and it worked perfectly.
“Our contractors faced a number of challenges due to it being a constrained site with difficult access and the need for sensitive working close to nearby properties. They successfully overcame these challenges and they have helped reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in Todmorden.
“We are currently putting the finishing touches to the handrails and fencing around the new structure and we are working with the owner of Golden Gardens Nursery to incorporate soft landscaping measures in the areas immediately around the new overflow channel.”
He went on to say: “The project won’t remove the risk of flooding entirely, but it will reduce the likelihood of the level of disruption and damage which was seen in the valley in 2012.”
Flood water from the river between Walsden and Gauxholme has often spilled into the canal in periods of heavy rain, sometimes causing it to overtop.
This has caused flooding in parts of the main Rochdale Road which has flowed towards Todmorden town centre, causing significant disruption and damage to homes and businesses. The work complements the £11 million final phase of the Todmorden Flood Alleviation Scheme, which was completed in 2014.
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