THE Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme in Glanmire is facing further delay, following difficulties in the appointment of a contractor by Cork City Council.
It is understood that the spiralling cost of building and other inflationary impacts have caused difficulties in appointing a successful contractor.
Work on the scheme is not now expected to commence, following the appointment of a contractor, until at least the first half of 2023.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North-Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan said that the latest setback would be “hugely disappointing” to the local residents of the Glanmire and Sallybrook area.
However, he said that the funding for the scheme was secure.
“Thankfully the OPW [Office of Public Works] and minister Michael McGrath have confirmed that funding for the flood scheme is secure, and Cork City Council will once again publish new tender documents in a bid to get the project initiated,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
In 2012, a severe flood caused tens of millions of euro worth of damage to 82 homes and 30 businesses in Glanmire and Sallybrook. The flood relief scheme was designed by the OPW to protect homes and businesses in future.
Concerns had been voiced in recent months about the viability of the flood relief scheme, with the signing of contracts delayed significantly. It is understood that construction inflation meant the contractor who had made the preferred bid for the work believed they were not now in a position to carry out the work.
When the scheme went to tender last year, the preferred bid is understood to have been approximately €14m. But with construction inflation currently at over 25%, such work would likely now cost in the region of at least €17m
Mr O’Sullivan said that while the delay would be a blow to local people, one benefit would be that Cork City Council now include in further tender bids projects from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) which are ongoing in the area.
“This will mean further possibilities of developing cycle ways and bus lanes in the area but most importantly the upgrade and installation of traffic lights and pedestrian access at Hazelwood Junction,” he said.
Public procurement rules preclude price negotiation after tender.
It is understood that if the preferred bidder was no longer in a position to sign the contract, the OPW would go back to the next lowest tender and work through tenders until a decision could be reached.
A Cork City Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Cork City Council is not in a position to appoint a Contractor for the works on foot of the recent procurement process.
“However, Cork City Council will proceed to issue updated tender documents in the coming months and is working with key project partners to minimise the overall delay in the completion of these works.”
Mr O’Sullivan said that while the delay would be a blow to local people, one benefit would be that the council now includes in further tender bids projects from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) which are ongoing in the area.