Today’s Local Landmark of the Day is the Thames Barrier, which has been protecting central London from flooding since 1982. It was designed by Charles Draper and construction began in 1974.
The location at New Charlton was chosen because of the relative straightness of the banks, and because the underlying river chalk was strong enough to support the barrier.
A Thames Barrier flood defence closure is triggered when a combination of high tides forecast in the North Sea and high river flows at the tidal limit at Teddington weir indicate that water levels would exceed 4.87 metres (16.0 ft) in central London.
During the barrier’s entire history up to February 2016, there have been 176 flood defence closures. It costs around £16,000 to close the Thames Barrier on each occasion.
There can be some local flooding around the eastern parts of Greenwich Borough when the barrier is closed.