Town scheme used to launch initiative

ICE North East chairman, Professor David Toll, assisted by Anthony Myatt, project manager at Environment Agency and Andy Moore, project manager, Birse Civils.
ICE North East chairman, Professor David Toll, assisted by Anthony Myatt, project manager at Environment Agency and Andy Moore, project manager, Birse Civils.

A NEW campaign to promote a form of engineering has been launched in Morpeth.

This is Civil Engineering is designed to demonstrate relevant examples to the general public through the display of banners at sites both during construction and immediately following completion of works.

The banners feature a QR code linked to a dedicated page on the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) website that explains what civil engineering is and the various works it covers.

The page also contains links to more detailed information for those interested in finding employment in the industry.

To mark the start of the campaign, representatives from the organisation joined Birse Civils, the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council at the High Stanners site of the Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Professor David Toll, Chairman of ICE North East, said: “The campaign promotes the contribution of civil engineering to society and we are proud to be launching it in the North East.

“In the year ahead, the This is Civil Engineering banner will be displayed at a number of sites around the region to highlight to the general public the variety and importance of civil engineering.”

The Environment Agency and the county council are working in partnership to provide the £21million flood defence scheme.

It has been designed by Halcrow, is being constructed by Birse Civils and is expected to be completed by autumn 2014.

It will provide a mix of new flood walls, flood gates and embankments throughout Morpeth town centre, as well as repairs to existing defences and the raising of ground levels.

There will also be work to the Cotting Burn, Church Burn and Postern Burn, and at Lowford Bridge nine five-metre-high poles will be placed across the river to trap large debris.

Project Manager Anthony Myatt, of the Environment Agency, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this campaign that promotes civil engineering and we fully support the aspirations of this initiative.

“Our involvement also gives us an opportunity to promote the important work that the Morpeth flood team are doing to reduce the risk of flooding in the town.”

The other main part of the scheme is an upstream dam and floodwater storage area at Mitford.

The creation of a temporary 100metre man-made channel, once in operation, will ensure that the River Wansbeck bypasses the location of the new facility so construction work can progress.

Staff from the Environment Agency have also been moving rare native white-clawed crayfish from the water to a safe new home upstream of the dam to allow the work to go ahead without causing any impact on the protected species.

Extensive work has already taken place in High Stanners and next on the list is strengthening some of the balustrades on Oldgate Bridge and installing a new flood wall near the Grade I-listed Chantry building.