COMPLETION of a flood relief scheme for Douglas has been further delayed with construction now not due to start until the second half of this year.
An update on the estimated €13.2m project provided by Cork County Council said that “third party” delays have led to the issuing of a tender for the project being pushed back to February.
Works are now expected to start in mid-summer providing there are no further delays. Detailed designs for the scheme are complete.
Douglas was hit by a serious flood in 2012 which caused damage to local businesses and has left business and homeowners with difficulties in getting insurance.
Councillor Seamus McGrath (FF) has urged that there needs to be more consultation on the issues surrounding the delays with local businesses and residents.
“Looking at the various reports, the start date seems to be moved back. We are looking at quarter three 2019.
“I appreciate interim works have been carried out at locations to alleviate any concerns regarding flooding but there was a major flooding incident in 2012 so it will be seven years to the point where these works are going to start.
“The works will take some time to complete so it will be more than seven years before there is a finished product in place which is extremely long given the devastation that was caused back in 2012 and given the huge priority that was placed on this scheme.
“We need to keep businesses and residents informed. I have raised this previously in relation to Togher in particular. One large business contacted me and said they felt they were not kept in the loop in relation to what was going on.
“If the dates are changing and if the schedule work time is being put back, it’s vitally important businesses are kept informed because they need to plan around how they operate their businesses in terms of staffing and products,” he added.
The project includes the building of flood defence walls, the removal of two bridges, widening and deepening of the river channel in Douglas and culvert re-routing. It also involves a culvert replacement in Togher.
A culvert underneath Church Road will be replaced with flood defence walls planned for Ravensdale.
Work will also include updating existing culverts on the Tramore River between Lehenaghmore Industrial Estate and Greenwood Estate in Togher, while flood alleviation measures will be installed along the Tramore River/Ballybrack stream to provide protection to properties.
The scheme has been previously complicated by knotweed along the riverside but consultants ARUP said they have taken a “proactive” approach to the issue and have an invasive species management plan in place for construction.
Works may also involve the diversion of a 600mm water main as advance works to mitigate the risk of clashing with a live water main during construction.