Construction work has started on a £2.5million scheme to alleviate flooding in South Tyneside.
This is the main part of the Monkton Flood Alleviation Scheme and work began this week.
Contractor Balfour Beatty is carrying out flood protection work across Monkton in Jarrow and Hebburn with work expected to be complete by the end of the year.
It will protect around 100 homes and businesses from surface water flooding.
To minimise disruption, work that needs to take place close to local schools will be done during the school summer holidays, with construction in areas less affected by travel to and from school being completed in the autumn.
The main construction work follows a project in March this year to open up a section of the Bede Burn running underground – known as ‘daylighting’ – to the rear of Toner Avenue School.
This was part of the ‘Living Waterways’ scheme to restore the burn and create a green space for the community to enjoy.
Monkton Flood Alleviation Scheme is being delivered by South Tyneside Council and its partners at the Environment Agency and Tyne Rivers Trust.
Tom Pitman, project manager for the Environment Agency and South Tyneside Council, said: “The work in the spring to open up the Bede Burn and create a green space was really well received by the community and we’re pleased it will be a great facility for them to use in the future.
"We’re now on to the main engineering work which will include improved drainage, swales to collect surface water run-off and an attenuation basin which is designed to collect water and slowly release it into the Bede Burn.
“While there will inevitably be some disruption while we complete this work, we are working hard to keep it to a minimum. In particular the bulk of the work we need to do near to schools will be done during the school summer holidays.”
Coun Nancy Maxwell, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "I’m delighted to see the construction phase of this project get underway.
“The work done earlier this year behind Toner Avenue School has created a wonderful open space, which the community will be able to enjoy once the main flood alleviation works have been completed. We would ask residents to bear with us during this short term disruption.
“Once complete, around 100 properties are going to reap the benefits of this scheme, with not only reduced flood risk but enhancements to the local environment too.”
The scheme involves managing surface water where problems have been identified around the Monkton Burn, Lukes Lane Estate and Leam Lane area, Mill Lane, Lilac Walk/College Road, Devon Road, Campbell Park Road/ Thirlmere Court and Mountbatten Avenue areas.
The project will have wider social and environmental benefits, encouraging local people and children to get involved in creating valuable new habitat.
It is largely funded by the Environment Agency, as well as a contribution from the local levy – which is money raised by local authorities for flood projects.
Motorists and pedestrians are advised there will be some diversions. The latest information on the scheme – including details of timescales and the required traffic management - can be found at the Monkton Flood Alleviation Scheme website: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/monktonfas.