York’s Lendal Arch reopens following flood defence works

Work to install improved flood gates under the arch of Lendal Bridge, which started five months ago, is now complete, reducing the risk of flooding to 39 homes and businesses between Scarborough Bridge and Ouse Bridge.

Wellington Row (part of the Trans Pennine Trail and National Cycle Network) reopened to pedestrians and cyclists on Friday, November 19.

The £2.5 million works are part of the York Flood Alleviation Scheme, where £45 million is being invested in the city to better protect 2,000 homes from flooding.

As part of the works, the Environment Agency has:
  • Raised the flood wall and replaced all of the gates on North Street, and installed demountable flood barriers at two entrances to Memorial Gardens;
  • Built a new flood wall and embankment between War Memorial Gardens and Leeman Road
    widened the flood gate at the upper end of North Street Gardens to improve access to the riverside;
  • Waterproofed the car park under the Park Inn and the Community Flood Hub building.

The final stage of the scheme has involved installing taller and stronger flood gates under Lendal Bridge. The team has flood tested the new flood gate, using 3,500L of water.

During the works under Lendal Bridge, Environment Agency contractors used solar panels and a solar powered generator as part of efforts to lower carbon emissions during construction.

The use of the solar powered generator aimed to reduce generator emissions by 85%, compared to using a regular generator.

Mark Fuller, project lead at the Environment Agency, said:

“This important work under one of York’s main bridges has been complex but essential to ensure we upgrade the flood gates to better protect homes and businesses, making them more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Installing a gate in this location has been challenging and has taken us longer than expected but the new gate is taller so it can protect against a higher flood level as well as achieving a greatly reduced leakage rate.

“We’re pleased we can reopen this route for pedestrians, cyclists and local businesses and we want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during construction.”