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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council


Jackson Civil Engineering Group Limited



Aerial photo of Rotherham Canal barrier

Canal barrier installed at Forge Island

Jackson Civil Engineering has delivered a state-of-the-art canal barrier for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, through the YORcivil2 framework.
The new multi-million-pound canal barrier at Forge Island in Rotherham is part of the Rotherham Renaissance Flood Alleviation Scheme (RRFAS) which is being undertaken by the council and will link in with a recently constructed flood wall along the River Don.

Together, they will bring a reduced risk of the River Don overspilling into the canal and flooding Rotherham centre along with hundreds of businesses and strategic parts of the highway, rail and tram/train networks. This includes the A630, A633, A6123, Rotherham Central station and Parkgate station.
The town centre had suffered significant flooding in June 2007 and again in November 2019, affecting over 135 homes and 300 businesses.

Cement free concrete pouring

Viability assessments

After extensive viability assessments, hydraulic modelling and support with funding applications. Jackson Civil Engineering Group Ltd was awarded the construction contract, following completion of the design by consultants Pell Frischmann and their design partners.

Work on the £4.45m barrier and associated works in this phase, began on August 2021 and was completed by August 2022. Construction included 450 tonnes of low carbon, cement free concrete, which resulted in a saving of 44 tonnes of embedded carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to traditional cement concrete and supports the council’s commitment to carbon reduction.

Photo: Pouring cement free concrete

Jackson Civil Engineering
Darren Blank operates the barrier controls

A challenging project

Darren Blank, Project Manager at Jackson Civil Engineering, said: “The project has been highly challenging whilst proving rewarding in all aspects of Civil Engineering and teamwork. We are immensely proud of the final product and the innovations and sustainable solutions we found along the way. We look forward to continuing to deliver flood resilience projects in Rotherham in the future, thereby protecting the residents and businesses as we move into a changing climatic period.”

Photo: Darren Blank operating the barrier controls

Rotherham Canal barrier Forge Island

A new feature to Forge Island

As well as its role in the town’s flood defences, the barrier has added a new focal point to the historic Rotherham canal, lock and towpath, adding a striking aesthetic to the Forge Island leisure development.

The leisure development on Forge Island is the flagship scheme for Rotherham town centre’s regeneration projects, which will be set within an attractive public square and a new pedestrian bridge connecting the scheme to the rest of the town centre.

Photo: The new, striking looking canal barrier

Forge Island Development
Cllr Chris Read cuts the ribbon at the official opening.

Reassurance and protection

The council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Cllr Dominic Beck, said: “The new canal barrier at the Rotherham Lock is a fantastic focal point of the flood alleviation works and showcases all of the hard work done by our Flood Risk Team and partners during the project. The canal barrier has already become an iconic part of the Rotherham town centre skyline, and will provide reassurance and protection for countless residents who live and work alongside the River Don.”

Photo: Cllr Chris Read cuts the ribbon at the official opening.

Flood alleviation scheme
Canal barrier arch is craned into position

Rewarding work

Mark Duquemin, Head of Environmental Management & Sustainability for Pell Frischmann, said: “We are very pleased to see the canal barrier come to life, ready to protect the people and communities of Rotherham from flooding. It’s been rewarding working on the design and supporting the construction of this iconic structure with our design partners KGAL, providing mechanical & electrical services for the flood gate, and Ecus, providing landscape architecture services.”

Photo: The barrier arch is craned into position

Pell Frischmann
Rotherham Canal Barrier raised

Wide collaboration

The project was undertaken in consultation with The Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency who liaised closely with the council during the concept and design of this project.

Funding for the construction was provided by the Levelling Up Fund, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, European Regional Development Fund, Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Local Levy, and Network Rail.

Photo: Guests at the opening event inspect the barrier

Canal and River Trust

Barrier installation

Cement free concrete pouring