Cork City Council plans to issue updated tender documents for the Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme by the end of this month, a Cork TD has been told.
Responding to a parliamentary question from Cork North Central TD Pádraig O’Sullivan, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal Donohoe has said progress on the long-awaited scheme is expected by the end of January.
In 2012, a severe flood caused tens of millions of euro worth of damage to 82 homes and 30 businesses in Glanmire and Sallybrook.
As a result of the floods, many homes and businesses in the area have subsequently struggled to obtain flood insurance.
The flood relief scheme was designed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) to protect homes and businesses in the future, and had been signed off on by the then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, in January 2021 and went out to tender.
It is understood that before a final contract could be signed last year, the preferred bidder raised concerns at the impact construction inflation would have in developing the scheme.
When the scheme went to tender in 2021, the preferred bid is understood to have been approximately €14m, but with construction inflation running at over 25% by the middle of 2022, such work would likely have the cost in the region of at least €17m.
Public procurement rules preclude price renegotiation after tender.
A review of the commercial risks associated with the tender documentation necessitated some additional technical assessment prior to the issuing of revised tender documents, Minister Donohoe told the Dáil this week.
“I have been informed that Cork City Council is now proceeding towards issuing updated tender documents by the end of January 2023,” Mr Donohoe said.
“Following the appointment of a civil works contractor, works are scheduled to commence in Q2 of 2023.
“Key project partners are working to minimise the overall delay in the completion of these works,” he said.
Pádraig O’Sullivan TD welcomed the announcement by the minister.
“We all know that the previous problem around the tender was that the inflationary pressures at the time meant that essentially it just wasn’t cost-effective to deliver it, but it’s good now that the tender will go out, and I’m very hopeful that a contractor will be appointed as soon as possible to actually commence the works.”
Works for the scheme are set to include the construction of new flood defence walls, embankments, new reinforced concrete culverts, pumping stations, drainage and utility diversions, the reconstruction of existing bridges, hard and soft landscaping and other associated works.