THE Environment Agency is ready to start building a wall a third of a mile long and up to eight feet high to prevent flooding to 658 homes and businesses.
It will run between the Morrisons in Todmorden to Shade Primary School, and help to contain Walsden Water.
The work due to begin this month will cost about £13 million and includes strengthening sections of culvert which take the stream beneath Todmorden town centre.
Most of this will be done within the culverts to minimise disruption to the Market Hall. There will be some temporary traffic delays as one lane of Rochdale Road will have to be closed while the wall is built.
It will be made of concrete with natural stone cladding so it blends in.
The Environment Agency expects it will take 18 months to complete the flood defences, which will take account of seasonal business peaks and be tailored to ensure there is minimal disruption over the busy Christmas and Easter periods.
Project manager Will Benedikz said a working group had been formed made up reflecting a wide range of the town’s interests.
Staff also plan to open an information room at the site office in Salford Way so people can call in if they want to raise issues of concern or check on progress.
The first two phases of the Todmorden flood alleviation scheme were designed to reduce the risk of flooding to properties from the River Calder and were completed in 2007.
The Environment Agency is continuing to investigate options for funding flood defence work in Walsden.