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41

site progress and this can be done in the future

without leaving the office. For example, in the

last 12 months we have kitted out eight excava-

tors with machine control and can now receive

data from the machines activity.

“By knowing just how much of the work-

load each machine has achieved and the time

taken, we can plan activity much better, keeping

the job on track. Equally because of the partner-

ship we have with SITECH, for certain jobs, we

may choose to hire in equipment for the dura-

tion. The benefit of this approach is that we can

still integrate these machines with our head of-

fice, by hiring equipment from SITECH and fit-

ting it to the hired machine.

“I definitely think we will now see much

more demand for information on earthworks

from main contractors, especially as more peo-

ple are challenged to meet carbon targets. ”

• [END]

Contractors World UK & Ireland

VBA to start work on

flood defence scheme at

Ipswich

As part of the Water and Environment Management

(WEM) Framework, the Environment Agency has ap-

pointed VBA, the joint venture between VolkerStevin,

Boskalis Westminster and Atkins, to work on a £21m

flood defence scheme.

Work to the tidal barrier scheme, which runs along

the River Orwell in Ipswich, is due to start later this

month and includes the design, construction and in-

stallation of a 30 m wide tidal barrier gate. It will com-

plete the defences which the Environment Agency has

been upgrading in recent years to greatly reduce the

risk of future flooding.

Mark Gardner, framework director for VBA, said:

“This project is a great opportunity for VBA to

showcase its capabilities in flood defences as

well as create a safer environment for those

who have been impacted by flooding.”

Ipswich has a long history of flooding both from

high fluvial flows and surge tide effects, with more

than 1,500 residential and 400 commercial properties

currently within the risk area.

The new flood gate will prevent surge tides and

allow control of fluvial flow.

The scheme involves the construction of piled flood

defence walls on either side of the barrier, a control

building, the installation of mechanical and electrical

equipment, flood gates on the east and west banks

within the flood walls, scour protection and landscap-

ing works.

Once successfully completed VBA will maintain the

new tidal barrier for a further two years.

• [cw]