Climate change, increased pressure to build on floodplains and coastal erosion all make flood protection a hot topic for public policy and procurement. Late in 2014 the government confirmed £2.3bn worth of investment in major flood defence projects. And there are countless smaller-scale (but still substantial) schemes being implemented at a local level, such as the Exeter flood defence scheme close to where I live.
Time and tide wait for no man, as the saying goes. Flood defence projects are harder to delay or defer than road, rail and some other infrastructure projects. The consequences of delays can be significant financial and property losses, genuine suffering, and possibly loss of life, rather than inconvenience and traffic jams.