New images released of planned Cork flood relief scheme

New images released of planned Cork flood relief scheme
Terence MacSwiney Quay – Before

NEW images have been released of the proposed Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme (LLFRS). The images show how the scheme will look at key locations in Cork City.

The scheme involves constructing flood defences along Cork’s quays and will run from Inniscarra dam to the city centre.

Terence MacSwiney Quay – Before
Terence MacSwiney Quay – Before
Terence MacSwiney Quay – After LLFRS: An enhanced quayside with views of the river
Terence MacSwiney Quay – After LLFRS: An enhanced quayside with views of the river

The office of Public Works (OPW) says the scheme will protect 2,100 properties, including 900 homes and 1,200 businesses, against tidal and river flooding.

The images show how the scheme will look from Fitzgerald’s Park, North Mall, Terence MacSwiney Quay, and the Lee Fields.

Lee Fields – Before
Lee Fields – Before
Lee Fields – After LLFRS: A wetland environment will be created in this area in the floodplain north of the tiered flood defence.
Lee Fields – After LLFRS: A wetland environment will be created in this area in the floodplain north of the tiered flood defence.

LLFRS say the images demonstrate that beyond protecting Cork City against flooding, the scheme also improves the public realm.

North Mall – Before
North Mall – Before
 North Mall – After LLFRS: Showing repaired original railings and upgraded paving, undertaken as part of LLFRS
 North Mall – After LLFRS: Showing repaired original railings and upgraded paving, undertaken as part of LLFRS

“These latest images also clearly show that the scheme has been open to, and taken on board, the views of the public throughout the ongoing evolution of the scheme’s design,” said a statement issued by LLFRS.

“There have been numerous public-consultation phases undertaken by the scheme and the Cork public has engaged very fully with it.

“The scheme is now at a point when, after 13 years of study of the complex nature of flooding impacting Cork City, it is being finalised for submission to the public expenditure and reform minister to seek statutory approval.

“The scheme represents the largest single investment in flood-defence infrastructure seen thus far in Ireland. It proposes an integrated approach to a problem that simply must be tackled, if the city and its residents and businesses are to be spared further damage and distress,” the statement concludes.

Fitzgerald's Park – Before
Fitzgerald's Park – Before
Fitzgerald's Park – After LLFRS: New landscaping creates a flood barrier. 
Fitzgerald's Park – After LLFRS: New landscaping creates a flood barrier. 

The multi-million euro scheme has been met with some opposition, including from the Save Our City campaign group.

They have proposed that flooding should be controlled using a downstream tidal barrier at Little Island, supported by the repair of the historic quay walls and a combination of upstream catchment-management measures.

The new images have been released just days after Cork City Council confirmed that works to revive and regenerate the Morrison’s Island quays are being finalised, with plans to have a contractor starting on site early next year.

The project will be delivered along Morrison’s Quay and Fr Matthew Quay, between Parliament Bridge and Parnell Bridge.

Cork City Council says the scheme aims to capitalise on the quay’s south-facing aspect, by creating a high-quality public realm and opening up the views of the River Lee.

In addition to the public realm investment, other critical aspects of the project are the construction of flood defences, changes to the surface-water drainage system, and remedial works to the existing quay walls.

“The flood-defence measures are currently needed to alleviate tidal flooding around Morrison’s Island, South Mall, and adjoining streets, which has frequently caused extensive damage to people’s businesses and properties in that area of the city centre,” said Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council.

 “We are currently finalising the detailed design.”

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