In 2016, Essex County Council requested that we engineer a solution to a problem that they have on a section of roadway on the B1025 at the Strood, Mersea Island, Essex.

The high tide often covers The Strood, which is the only road on and off the island, usually twice a day for only one week during the month. Once the tide covers the Strood, the island really does once again become an island for about an hour and a half. Visitors and residents often check the tide times and heights. If the tide is 5M or above, it will more than likely cover the Strood. Over the years there have been a number of vehicles that try to cross the Strood once the tide comes in and then get stuck. Not only is the salt water bad for your vehicle the conditions can present a danger to life.

We therefore designed and engineered a unique solar powered street light system on a heavy duty 6M column that would only illuminate when the tide begins to cover the roadway. This system was based around our model SL12 solar LED street light. Adjacent to the proposed street light there is a white painted marker post with height positions from 0’ to 6’. Integrated into the solar street light is a float activated switch that is housed within an enclosure at the base of the column at road level. The enclosure has multiple homes to allow the tidal water to enter and leave. When the water rises to road level the float switch is activated and the street light turns on. It then serves a dual purpose. It illuminates the section of street at the very edge of where the flooding begins and also illuminates the height marker post so road users can gauge the current water level depth to determine if it’s safe to proceed. Once the water recedes the float switch resets and the street light turns off. The remaining section roadway onto the island has always been unlit and the council requires it to remain this way, primarily due to the extreme conditions that it is regularly subjected to.