THE Office of Public Works has “severely overestimated” the cost of constructing a tidal barrage to prevent flooding in Cork and seriously needs to reconsider this as an option, according to those campaigning against the authority’s current €140m flood defence proposals.
Members of the Save Cork City group said they have found “serious miscalculations” in OPW projections which, they believe, resulted in the body dismissing the erection of a tidal barrier on cost grounds.
The OPW has previously said such a project would cost up to €1billion and would only help with tidal flooding, not with fluvial flooding.
Members of Save Cork City, however, said they investigated the cost of a flood barrage at Great Island and that it would cost just under €200m. They outlined their findings in front of Cork City Council last night.
“We brought with us a number of specialists and we put forward a few different points, the main ones being that the barrier costings put forward are flawed. They don’t give a proper picture of the possibilities that are there. The costs have been severely overestimated,” said Polly Magee from Save Cork City.
“We’re deeply concerned about the fundamental scheme as put forward and we really believe that the total river catchment should be considered and that a tidal barrier would be considered as a long-term solution.”
Ms Magee said the campaign group is currently finalising a formal submission to the OPW on the flood defence proposals.
“We are working on our submission. We’re getting new information all the time. We got new information from an engineer this morning. He stated that the Iniscarra Dam would be a major benefit in solving the river flooding in the city if the generation of power was removed as a function from that dam and could also be a very good solution.”