The first phase, the £2 million Woodlesford Enabling Works of the scheme, is scheduled to last 22 week until July of this year, and includes construction of an embankment, floodwalls and storage pond creating hundreds of water job opportunities.
Planning permission has already been provided for the flood defences in the City Centre and Holbeck, including the removal of Knostrop Cut.
Detailed design work for the first phase is currently in progress. The design and build contract is scheduled to be tendered in April 2014 after a bid competition in March.
According to Environment Agency the firms that will be bidding in the competition to deliver the asset delivery framework are the following:
- BMM joint venture (BAM Nuttall, Mott MacDonald)
- GBV joint venture (Galliford Try, Black & Veatch)
- JN Bentley, JBA
- Team Van Oord
- VBA consortium (VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster, Atkins)
In the past years Leeds city centre has almost flooded a number of times. The city currently has no formal flood defences along the River Aire, which makes it very vulnerable to flooding.
An estimated 4,500-plus properties are at risk of flooding and approximately £450m of direct damage would be caused by a major flood from the River Aire in Leeds.
The Environment Agency previously considered a comprehensive scheme for the River Aire from Newlay Bridge in Kirkstall to Woodlesford using flood defense walls, which would have protected the city against a major flood event that was likely to occur once every 200 years.
This scheme was estimated to cost over £190m and was considered to be unaffordable.
According to Environment Agency, the new scheme will provide protection against flood events likely to happen once every 75 years. The whole scheme will generate many water engineering jobs and is estimated to have a total cost of around £50.5m which is funded through a partnership supported by Defra and the Treasury, Leeds City Council and local businesses.
The flood alleviation scheme is scheduled to be complete in 2016.