OPW defends delay on Cork flood defence work

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has defended the timescale for delivering flood defences in Cork City, saying it hopes building work will start in late 2015.

OPW defends delay on Cork flood defence work

The indicative start date was confirmed yesterday following the first public consultation on the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme, which will include proposals for tackling flooding in Blackpool and Ballyvolane.

Cork Chamber chief executive, Conor Healy, criticised the length of time it is taking to deal with the flooding problem which has cost businesses and homeowners an estimated €100m since the city’s devastating 2009 flood.

“The ongoing response is not acceptable in terms of the timeframe and urgency,” he said.

“Flooding is a very real and recurring problem in this city and Government doesn’t seem to be treating it with the urgency required.”

However, the OPW said it hopes this latest study will be completed in the next 12 to 15 months.

The OPW has asked consultants to prepare an environmental assessment of the study area. An engineering study is being advanced at the same time to consider what flood alleviation measures might be considered, including:

- diverting some sections of river, or developing flow bypass channels;

nreducing river flows in some areas through flood upstream catchment management and storage mechanisms;

- flood defences, including raised quay walls or embankments;

- and a revised operating regime for the ESB’s dams at Carrigadrohid and Inniscarra.

Both studies will draw on the flood defence proposals which emerged from the Lee CFRAM Study, which was published in Feb 2011.

Its broad suggestions to develop tidal defences and localised flood defences were ruled out on cost grounds.

Some of its proposals to revise the management of the river Lee dams were adopted.

The OPW said when a viable scheme emerges from the latest study it will be placed on statutory public exhibition.

“Subject to such a viable scheme being accepted by the public then it would go though the detailed design process along with the procurement process for a civil works contractor.

“All going well, the works could be expected to commence in 2015, subject to statutory confirmation (ministerial approval).”

The OPW said that it may be possible to accelerate works in the Blackpool and Ballyvolane areas ahead of this timeline, but it will be later this year before such decisions can be made.

The OPW said it is too early to be accurate about the costs of the overall scheme because it has to wait to see what preferred flood defence or flood mitigation measures might emerge.

“But OPW is currently profiling expenditure on this scheme from now to 2017 in its multi-annual capital expenditure profile,” the spokesperson said.

- You can make a submission to the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme by emailing bkeville@mccarthykos.ie by Jul 26.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.