WORKS are in full flow on the long-awaited flood relief scheme for Bandon.
Residents and business people have welcomed the sight of diggers and work crews finally taking to the river for a project that has been dogged by delays in recent days.
Bandon has been crying out for flood defences since the town was decimated in the flood of 2009.
Now, eight years on, there are finally signs that the town will be protected, offering hope to businesses and homeowners who have been unable to get insurance and lived every day with the risk of flooding.
After several years awaiting funding for the scheme, works had begun on the scheme this year but a contractual dispute between the OPW and Wills Bros Ltd led to further delays.
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard the town was desperate for the flood works to be delivered as soon as possible.
To date, there has been significant progress made, particularly with regards to dredging works.
The town has suffered numerous, and quite severe floods, particularly in recent years.
“The progress of this scheme is critical."
To keep the townspeople up to date, the OPW and Wills Bros Ltd have agreed to a monthly newsletter to be provided and distributed within the town, a project website providing additional information, the appointment of a new Community Liaison person, and a monthly open evening where the public has the opportunity to discuss and highlight issues of concern directly with the contractor.
“I am confident that these additional measures will help address local frustration and ensure there is adequate communication regarding the critical flood works being executed. I commend the Minister’s office and the contractors for working through their contractual issues as well as addressing the appeals of the local Bandon residents," said Mr Lombard.