Construction work at the Exmouth tidal defence began in June 2019; however, the Environment Agency’s schedule included a pause in construction to re-open roads and clear visible construction for the busy summer and autumn tourist months.

The Environment Agency and East Devon District Council have now confirmed that work will restart in January 2021, including:

  • Strengthening the lower walkway of the sea wall between Morton Crescent west and Temple Steps opposite Alexandra Terrace Junction.
  • New drainage outfalls through the sea wall.
  • Reconfiguring Alexandra Terrace Junction.
  • Highways accommodation works for floodgates and installation of floodgates at Esplanade East (Premier Inn), Esplanade West (the Grove), Alston Terrace and Alexandra Terrace Junction.

Environment Agency Flood Manager, Ben Johnstone, said: “I am delighted to confirm that construction of the Exmouth tidal defence scheme will recommence in January and the scheme is due to be complete in 2021. Climate change is happening now and we expect to see an increase in extreme weather and flood events.

“The Exmouth tidal defence, and schemes like it, are an important part of how we plan to better protect homes and businesses in Devon and Cornwall from flooding. I would like to thank residents in advance for their understanding and co-operation while we work on this vital scheme for Exmouth.”

The Environment Agency and contractors are to work closely with Devon County Council Highways at Alexandra Terrace Junction and across the Esplanade on the installation of flood gates. Sections of the Esplanade Road will be closed with signed diversions in place with a route for both cyclists and pedestrians put in place, should it be safe to do so.

The Exmouth tidal defence scheme includes flood gates in 26 locations. These gates are specially made and need to be closed when floods are predicted to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses. The road-based gates will be operated by East Devon District Council. Other gates will be operated by teams of community volunteers.

Community-closed gates are used effectively in other towns across Devon; they offer more flexibility, can be opened between tides and can be opened sooner once the all-clear is given. This limits the length of time the gates are shut, reducing inconvenience for residents and businesses. The Environment Agency is working with Exmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council to establish a team of Exmouth community flood gate volunteers.

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