FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin has said he has secured a commitment from Irish Water to minimise disruption to Passage West and Monkstown residents and redesign a project to facilitate the laying of sewers as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project.
Irish Water Contractors Ward and Burke are proposing to completely close two sections of road in Passage to lay sewer piping as part of Irish Water’s Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project.
The first closure is to lay the sewer in the road from Glenbrook Wharf to Lucia Place during July and August and the second is to lay it from the Town Hall to the Oysterhaven Boats during September and October.
The overall aim of the project is to divert all sewerage from the area to a new treatment plant at Shanbally to stop the discharge of raw sewerage into the harbour.
However, local businesses and residents have railed against the duration of the works, claiming they will lead to disruption that could devastate the town.
They were only notified of the extent of the works on June 6.
Mr Martin said he has spoken directly to Irish Water’s managing director, Jerry Grant, who told him that the water utility is working with Ward and Burke to come up with new plans that would shorten the length of the closures.
“Their team is working with the contractor on a redesign option which, if feasible, would significantly reduce the duration of the road closure. The original design is a gravity system with deep sewers. Because it’s a particular model that [Irish Water] is doing, that’s what is driving the requirements. They have said they are going to do everything they can to minimise the community impact.
“I have sent in objections but I also rang the MD [Mr Grant] to say this was important from an Irish Water perspective that the residents were very angry in terms of the notification in advance and the traders,” said Mr Martin.
“If the duration of the works could be shortened it would be quite significant for traders, elderly people and those who are infirm.”