2016 end date for €3m Cork flood prevention works

A flood prevention scheme, which could cost up to €3 million, should be completed in Glanmire by 2016, according to consultants designing project.

Around 60 households and dozens of businesses were flooded on June 28, 2012, resulting in insurance claims which are estimated to be around €6m.

Ken Leahy, project manager with Arup Consulting Engineers, said it was hoped to have designs for a preferred scheme in place by July, at which point further public consultations will take place.

He said the likelihood was that a combination of dredging and widening sections of the River Glashaboy would form part of the plan, along with the erection of soil embankments and flood defence walls, particularly in the Riverstown area.

Mr Leahy was speaking after the first round of public consultations were held in the area.

Martin Grandon, who owns Grandon Car Sales, estimated that his insurance bill for the flood was €1m and he can no longer get cover. He only got the Toyota dealership days before and had 40 cars written off. Since then he has been forced to pay out for rock armour to protect his premises from flooding.

Mr Grandon said a single-span bridge should be created by John O’Callaghan Park to ensure debris doesn’t clog the current bridge, which has several ‘eyes.’

However, Mr Leahy said as it’s a very old bridge there would be ‘heritage constraints’ on what engineers could do.

Jim Healy, chairman of Meadowbrook Residents’ Association, where all 48 houses were flooded, said he thought the first engagement with consultants was “positive.” “They were co-operative and helpful. Any questions we had they were able to answer, even at this early stage. At least something is starting to move now,” he said.

County councillor Noel Costello said he was confident the project would go according to schedule and within a few years residents and business owners would sleep more comfortably.

Cllr Costello said it was important that insurance companies offered flood relief cover back to householders when the work was completed. “This scheme will be designed to protect against a one-in-100 year fluvial (river) and 1-in-200 year tidal event,” he said.

He said residents should use their combined buying power to get flood cover.

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