Thames Barrier, London

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  • Thames Barrier monitoring and maintenance
  • Thames Barrier monitoring and maintenance
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Image 1 of 5 Thames Barrier monitoring and maintenance

Key facts

Environment Agency
United Kingdom 


Thames Barrier project wins ICE London Heritage Award - 2011

The Thames Barrier trunnion and bearing refurbishment project won the
London Civil Engineering Heritage Award - 2010


Related document

Thames Barrier PDF

Halcrow Group is proud to assist the Environment Agency with their flood risk management of the Thames Estuary into the twenty-first century

Massive growth in population and infrastructure is planned for London and the Thames basin over the next twenty years.

As part of the flood defence system helping to manage flood risk and protect £80 billion of property and seven million people, the Thames Barrier plays a vital role. It serves to protect central London from flooding while permitting navigation on the River Thames. The barrier takes the form of a barrage across the river incorporating a series of lifting gates.

The Environment Agency, with the support of our project management expertise, is able to repair, upgrade and maintain this vital structure. Regular precise survey monitoring enables the client to understand engineering priorities and ensure continuing successful operation of the barrier.

Since 1988 Halcrow Surveys have been undertaking regular precise survey monitoring to confirm satisfactory structural and operational performance of the barrier.

Key factors:

  • Performance monitoring
  • Damage survey
  • Design of gate repairs
  • Project management of upgraging projects

Following a ship collision in 1998, Halcrow also carried out damage surveys. Halcrow has undertaken studies of repair options, design of gate repairs and a review of operating rules. Upgrading and repair works are now being undertaken for the Environment Agency under Halcrow project management.

Thames Barrier and Associated Gates deformation monitoring

Halcrow has been involved with deformation monitoring of the Thames and Barking Barriers since 1995, in addition to providing vital data on floodwalls and sluices that form the tidal river defence. Halcrow provides the tidal Thames team with hydrographic survey support and Global Positioning System data as a part of our wider consultancy services.

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Cutting-edge engineering survey equipment and software are fully employed when carrying out the engineering survey work at the Thames Barrier and Associated Gates. This ranges from sub-millimetre precision total stations, precise digital levels to geotechnical tools such as tilt and verticality sensors.

Senior surveyor, Chris Hall, talks about survey work on the associated gates.

"Cutting-edge engineering survey equipment and software are fully employed when carrying out the engineering survey work"

Laser scanning techniques have been employed to build three-dimensional models of components and whole structural systems, where the resulting data can be used for many purposes – engineering design, security analysis or even teaching school groups.

We have researched the possible use of satellite interferometry to obtain retrospective settlement monitoring data for the Barrier and surrounding area. Such data is obtained remotely, offering health & safety and logistical benefits, and could provide vital in-fill data between yearly deformation monitoring surveys.

Team work:

As a part of the partnering approach Halcrow adopts with its client and fellow consultants, we are enabling the Environment Agency and DEFRA to meet the high level targets for flood risk management in the UK.

This involves close collaboration between teams of civil, structural and mechanical/electrical engineers, hydraulic modellers, engineering surveyors and many more disciplines. Careful planning and liaison at every stage, both internally and externally, is the way we meet and surpass our clients’ expectations. Halcrow Group is proud to assist the Environment Agency with their flood risk management of the Thames Estuary into the twenty-first century.

Related content

  • Geospatial solutions 

    We work with our clients to provide bespoke geospatial solutions in the areas of data acquisition, management, analysis, integration and visualisation.

  • Flood defence 

    We are at the forefront of flood management and modelling expertise.

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