Built 250 years ago to drain wetlands to the east of the city, the Holderness Drain serves a vast swathe of farmland and has three pumping stations along its 15-mile length.
The latest development, which was given the go ahead by city planners in April, is a replacement for the East Hull pumping station on Hedon Road, which was built in 1949, and is closer to its confluence with the Humber.
Part of a £28.5m flood alleviation scheme, it will allow water to be pumped from the drain at a rate of up to ten tonnes per second into the estuary when levels are high in the drain, reducing flood risk to 1,000 homes in East Hull.
Andrew Barron, the Environment Agency’s senior flood risk advisor for Hull, said: “Hull and the surrounding area is very low lying and this pumping station is vital to keep water moving into the Humber estuary.
“This is part of a £200m investment with partners in reducing flood risk in Hull and the East Riding over the last five years.”
Work will start on a second phase to create a flood relief area near the historic Castle Hill monument area, east of Bransholme and Sutton, later this year.
Highways England contributed £5m, with another £2.14m coming from the Local Growth Fund, via the Humber LEP.
Hull Councillor Mike Thompson said: “We are delighted to see this critical work get under way.
“These defence measures will help to minimise the impact of flooding to some of our area’s most vulnerable parts of land, and highlights the continued commitment we have to protecting homes from flooding.”