LARGE boulders will soon be added to the Jubilee River as essential repair works enter their final stage.

The Jubilee River is part of a flood alleviation scheme that reduces the risk of flooding for approximately 3,200 homes in Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton, and Cookham.

In October 2020, the Environment Agency (EA) commenced immediate work on the Black Potts Weir, which is the final weir on the river and manages river levels, after divers spotted significant scouring – damage caused by water erosion – on part of its structure.

The repair works were split into two phases – which prompted flooding fears from locals as the Jubilee River was working at a reduced capacity during phase one.

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This work included removing damaged concrete from around the weir and placing new sheet piling.

However, that stage has since been completed and the EA has now moved to phase two.

The EA will add a ‘rock armour’, which consists of large boulders, to control the erosion from fast-moving water over Black Potts Weir by ‘dissipating’ the water’s energy.

Before this work starts, part of the riverbed will be dug up to make room for two layers of rock and to provide a connection into the existing bed once the new concrete apron slab is completed.

Phase one of the repairs was delayed, adding a knock effect to phase two where the EA estimates the works will be completed this Autumn.

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“High river levels and fast flowing water” paused repairs in January and February as well as the national mourning of Prince Philip, who died in April, aged 99.

The EA said: “Although this is longer than originally forecast, by the end of the work we will have completed repairs that will last for between 60 and 100 years meaning that the Jubilee River will continue to reduce the risk of flooding for the local community well into the future.”

They also said they have a “unique opportunity” to carry out minor repair works on some scouring found on the Manor Farm Weir, which is close to Eton Wick.

Work is likely to start in July and will last for one month and will not affect the operation of the Jubilee River, the EA explained.