A SECOND opinion Cork city’s flood relief scheme by an expert with ‘no skin in the game’ is required before works begin, according to a city councillor.
Councillor Thomas Gould is hoping to receive the backing of fellow elected representatives in lobbying Office of Public Works Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran to commission an independent assessment of the €140m Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme which involves raised quay walls and demountable barriers.
The plans have been the subject of opposition from the Save Cork City group who have been advocating for an upstream tidal barrier to tackle flooding in the city instead.
Mr Gould said: “Minister Moran has already rejected this but we need to ask him again. The Morrison’s Island section of the plan has to go ahead because we have to protect the public realm there and stop it from flooding.
“But the overall plan, in relation to installing pumping stations and raising the levels of some of the walls, there should be a review of that.
“We need to bring in an outside expert to give a second opinion to determine whether this is the right way forward. We are going to be spending hundreds of millions for a once in a lifetime job of work. If we don’t get this right, we are failing the people of Cork.
“I supported the idea of a tidal barrier and the reason that is not getting proper consideration by the OPW and the Government is because of cost.
“There are huge variations in the costings so we need an independent company in that no skin in the game.
“Outsiders could look at this cold. There have been some really good suggestions about flood plains, tree planting and upstream works that could be done. There is a compromise that could be reached but we need outside experts to review it.
“If they say the plan is right, I accept that, but if they bring suggestions, we should certainly look at them,” he added.