Commendation for Morecambe’s wave reflection wall

Morecambe’s new wave reflection wall has been highly commended at an awards ceremony which recognises excellence in the engineering profession.

Julian Wilson (VBA), Dom Bradley (VBA), Gary Bowker (Lancaster City Council), Richard Walsh (VBA), receive the commendation from Andrew Wyllie (ICE President 2018/19) and Tom Glovehew (ICE North West

Julian Wilson (VBA), Dom Bradley (VBA), Gary Bowker (Lancaster City Council), Richard Walsh (VBA), receive the commendation from Andrew Wyllie (ICE President 2018/19) and Tom Glovehew (ICE North West

The project was highly commended in the ‘community’ category, which recognises projects that demonstrate a tangible benefit to society and improve quality of life, at the ICE Civil Engineering Awards on Thursday evening.

It was only beaten to the top spot by the Salford Traffic Free Routes project.

The project had also been shortlisted in the ‘medium project’ category but lost out to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The wave reflection wall reduces flood risk to 11,400 homes and consists of 4km of reinforced concrete defences that will provide protection against a major flood event. 

Sympathetically designed to fit in with the local environment, the wall also includes a nod to late local legend Eric Morecambe - with the shape of his glasses engraved in an end section.

In addition to protecting 11,400 residential properties, it also:
•    Reduces the risk of flooding to 2,246 commercial properties
•    Reduces the risk of flooding to major highway and promenade infrastructure
•    Safeguards the local economy

The project was funded by £10.8m central government grant-in-aid funding and led by Lancaster City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency.

Gary Bowker, project engineer for Lancaster City Council, said: “The repair and replacement of the wave reflection wall will protect thousands of homes from the risk of coastal flooding. It has also significantly enhanced the promenade and I’m delighted this has been recognised by the commendation.”

Environment Agency Area Director for Cumbria and Lancashire, Keith Ashcroft, added: “In the face of challenges like a changing climate, rising sea levels and more severe weather, the Environment Agency is working hard to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding.

“The Morecambe Wave Reflection Wall is a great example of partnership: by working together the Environment Agency, Lancaster City Council, and the contractor VBA have created an exceptionally value-for-money sea defence.”

The main contractor was VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins.

Richard Walsh, project manager at VBA, “As the main contractor, VBA is extremely proud to be involved in a scheme that brings a wide range of benefits to the local community, not only protecting homes and businesses from flooding, but providing a lasting legacy to residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

Last updated: 18 March 2019