“BIBLICAL” floods in a prominent South Tyneside street will be a thing of the past when a £2.63m project is completed, the leader of the borough council has pledged.
Council work to improve the appearance of flood-hit Ocean Road, South Shields, was halted late last year when the authority received an offer from Northumbrian Water.
A major project to reduce the risk of flooding to properties at times of heavy rainfall was launched. It is desperately needed with shops and restaurants regularly flooded at times of heavy downpours.
An upgrade to the sewer system will see more than 400 metres of new sewer pipes installed, as well as the creation of an underground storm water storage tank in the North Marine Park, with capacity to hold three million litres of rainwater.
Today, council leader Iain Malcolm thanked Ocean Road residents and traders for their patience during the course of the work.
He pledged that improvements to paths and other pedestrianised areas in the street would re-convene when Northumbrian Water completed the project by Easter.
Coun Malcolm said: “In terms of Ocean Road, I know that people are tearing their hair out because it seems to be taking quite a long time.
“The problem is we have got to get it right and we got the offer from Northumbrian Water to come in and build a holding tank in that area, because of all of the flooding that has been going on.
“As a result we have halted the work on the footpaths and on the roads, to allow Northumbrian Water to have the time to do what they need to do in the Marine Park.
“I think they are doing an extremely good job, they are a really professional company, and I’m hopeful they will finish on time, which will be just before Easter, which means we can start again on the plans for developing the street scene on Ocean Road.
“I am grateful that residents have been patient, but it’s well worth getting this right for the long term so that traders and residents in that area don’t have a Biblical flood every time there’s a downpour of rain and so forth.
“Ocean Road is going to become an important part of the street scene of what were trying to achieve in South Shields town centre generally.”
Customers who require further advice about the flooding measures, or have any special requirements, should ring Northumbrian Water on 0845 717 1100 or log on to www.nwl.co.uk.