By Kieran O’Mahony
WITH contractors now appointed for the long-awaited Bandon Flood Relief Scheme, it is expected that works will begin in the coming weeks for the €11m flood-alleviation works scheme for the town.
Wills Bros Ltd, a Mayo-based civil engineering company, have been appointed by the OPW to construct the new flood-scheme for the town, which comes on the back of the announcement last week of the signing of a contract for the Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme.
Gillian Powell of Bandon Flood Group said that both and she and the members of the campaign group are delighted to finally see progress on the scheme that has been dogged with delays.
‘I’m absolutely delighted with the news and I would like to thank the taxpayers of Ireland for funding this much needed scheme for Bandon. We have been told too the contractors are very reliable and one of the best and it will be great to finally see diggers in the river at last,’ Gillian told The Southern Star.
‘I’m thrilled too for the people of Bandon and the businesses as the town is on the brink of booming and this will help to solidify it and make it the great market town it should be. Also, it will make sure Cork South West will take its rightful place in the development of Ireland as a centre for innovation, growth and development.’
The scheme in place will benefit over 390 properties, of which 177 are residential, and will include the dredging of approximately 3.6km of the Bandon River, repair works to the Bandon Weir and the replacement of the existing pedestrian bridge with a new three span pedestrian bridge. Construction of new flood-defence walls and improvements to others will also take place as well construction of new earthen embankments, culverts and new fish passes.
Minister Seán Canney TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW, acknowledged the tremendous resilience shown by the townspeople of Bandon during the floods late last year, ‘where residents and businesses came together and had the town back up and running straight away after the floods’.
‘The people of Bandon can look forward in the knowledge that a project will shortly be underway to provide flood protection in the town. I would like to thank all those involved including local representatives and community groups in Bandon for helping to bring the scheme to this stage,’ said Minister Canney.
Cork South West Fine Gael TD Jim Daly also welcomed the news and complimented the OPW on delivering on the commitment both he and Minister Simon Harris gave the people of Bandon last December that works would begin this summer.
‘Today marks the beginning of a new era of confidence for residents and traders in the town of Bandon as works will begin on the ground in the next couple of weeks,’ said Deputy Daly.