THE final stage in a £14.8m plan to protect hundreds of homes and businesses from floods which devastated parts of the city three years ago has begun.
In 2007 Westgate End was left under metres of water after unprecedented heavy rain.
Since then the Environment Agency has worked alongside Wakefield Council on the scheme which will provide protection for more than 700 homes and 59 businesses.
It expected to be completed in March next year.
Sue O’Neill, Environment Agency Area Flood Risk Manager said “The project has been very challenging in a tight urban location over nine separate sites.
“We are pleased that it is close to completion and will reduce the terrible risk of flooding for the local community.”
Traffic on Westgate has been disrupted during the engineering work to build a new culvert to direct water under the road and into Ings Beck and the River Calder.
Buildings which sat on top of the old culvert, which was in danger of collapse, were demolished.
Flood embankments have been improved at becks in Wrenthorpe, Alverthorpe, and at Wakefield Prison.
The next phase will see improvements on Alverthorpe Road and Kemps Bridge, plus more work to protect homes near to Foster Ford Beck in Wrenthorpe.
Mary Creagh MP visited the site last Friday.
She said “This flood defence scheme is good news for residents and businesses in Wakefield.
“I saw the terrible effects of flooding in the city in 2007 and I’m delighted that this £14.8m investment has been secured.
“Homes and businesses will be safer as a result.”