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Surveying The Boston Flood Barrier

Read about how we precisely set out the Boston Barrier flood barrier, a project by the Environment Agency.

Article By: Tom Ayre | Last Update: November 2020


Hollandia UK


Survey – 3 Months


Boston, Lincolnshire, UK


Tom Ayre / Scott Watts

Project Introduction

The Boston Barrier in Boston, Lincolnshire, is one of the biggest civil engineering projects the town has ever seen, with over £100 million Flood Defence Grant in Aid invested to better protect over 14,000 properties from tidal flooding. Once complete, it will provide one of the best standards of tidal flood defence in the UK outside London.

The Boston barrier in Boston Lincolnshire was a massive civil engineering project designed to protect over 14,000 properties from tidal flooding sourcing from the river Haven. The project has been funded using a £100 million grant by the Environment Agency and will provide the town with some of the United Kingdom’s best tidal defences.

THS Concepts were appointed as setting out surveyors by Hollandia UK. Hollandia UK are a renown Dutch engineering company. THS Concepts have worked alongside Hollandia on a number of previous jobs including the slightly smaller flood barrier installed in Ipswich.

The flood barrier has been a big requirement for the town of Boston. A devastating flood in December 2013 caused millions of pounds worth of damage. The cause of the flood was the River Haven which burst it’s banks as a result of a tidal surge.

The 300 ton barrier gate sits in a concrete slot on the river bed. When required the gate will be hydraulically pulled into position to block the flow of water. The assembly components including the gate were built in the Netherlands and shipped over via barge.

Project Photographs

THS Concepts were commissioned by Hollandia to precisely set out the positions of a number of crucial components. One of which were the gate’s hinging components which has to be positioned to within 2 mm.

The survey work was undertaken using our Leica TS15 1 second total station. The site’s control network was provided by the main contractor (Bam Nuttall) which ensure everyone was setting out on the same grid.

The project has been a great success for THS Concepts and one of the companies proudest achievements. As of November 2019 the gate has been successfully moved into it’s closed position. In the future the remainder of the cofferdam works will be completed prior to flood barrier becoming operational.

We are looking forward to installing the next flood barrier where ever that may be. Having done 2, we feel we are becoming the “go to” survey company for these types of works!