By SiobhÁn Cronin and
THE long-awaited Bandon Flood Relief Scheme has got the green light from Acting Minister Brendan Howlin.
The Acting Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced on Tuesday that he has considered the report of the consultants appointed to review the Environmental Impact Statement and is now in a position to confirm the Scheme.
The Order confirming the scheme is published in this week’s Southern Star. A statutory eight-week period of public notice must be observed, following which works may commence, after the procurement process.
Bandon Town has a long history of serious flooding, most recently last winter. Flooding is primarily due to heavy rainfall in the catchment area of the Bandon river and of its tributary, the Bridewell River, which joins the Bandon river immediately downstream of Bandon Bridge, the Dept said this week.
The preferred scheme will consist of a combination of flood defences with dredging of the river bed. It is proposed to dredge the river bed to a level of 9.5m downstream of the weir (approximately 1.8m below the existing bed level) in the town and at a grade of 1/1000 until it reaches the existing bed level a distance of 3.6km downstream of the town. New flood defences will also be constructed to contain flood water within the Bandon and Bridewell river as well as the Mill Stream.
The Dept has outlined that the flood relief scheme will involve the following: deepening of the existing riverbed by 1.8m just downstream of Bandon Weir to 9.5m; dredging for 3.6km (to O’Driscoll’s Bridge) at a gradient of 1/1000; approximately 150,000m3 of material to be dredged; provision of a new rock ramp fish pass and counter at Bandon weir; provision of new fish passes at the Mill Stream and the Bridewell River confluences with the Bandon River; underpinning of Bandon Bridge; replacement of the pedestrian bridge with a new pedestrian bridge; the provision of flood defence walls at various locations on the right and left banks of the Bandon River; the provision of flood defence walls on the left and right banks of the Bridewell River; the provision of flood defence embankments on the right and left banks of the Bandon River and locally on the Mill Stream at its confluence with the Bandon River; improvement to some of the existing flood defences on the Bandon and Bridewell Rivers; a new culvert on Mill Stream, and surface water drainage.
Cork South West FF TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has welcomed the confirmation of the scheme. ‘The wait has been far too long but I am looking forward to the actual work starting on both rivers. However, the lack of insurance cover for businesses must be worked on and the Main Drainage Scheme for the town must be advanced too,’ she told The Southern Star.
Margaret Daly, who runs a barber shop on Oliver Plunkett St and saw her premises flooded late last year gave a cautious welcome to the news.
‘I’m quite happy with this news and the fact that Simon Harris kept his word, but I can’t get too excited until they actually start the work on the river at the end of May. Also it’s important that work will be carried out on the Bridewell River too,’ Margaret told The Southern Star.She has yet to fix up her kitchen since the last floods due to her fear of being flooded again.
Within the last week Cork County Council has completed the evaluation of tenders for the Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme.
Cllr Alan Coleman also welcomed the news.