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Interim flood works plan for Bantry

February 3rd, 2021 5:45 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Cork County Council oversaw the placing of large bags of sand in an attempt to stop the water encroaching onto the road ahead of a flooding incident in the town last December. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A CORK County Council application to the Office of Public Works for funding to carry out interim flood relief measures under a minor works scheme has been welcomed in Bantry.

Local Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) was at first sceptical that the minor works scheme would be ‘a patch job,’ but the county engineer, Kevin Morey said: ‘These interim works may be of significant benefit.’

In December, Council operatives placed huge sand bag defences at the unprotected Quay Wall, near the public toilets, and it proved that the short-term measure – when combined with a pumping system – proved effective.

The county engineer also confirmed that tender documents to procure and appoint a design consultant for the town’s €6.7m flood relief scheme are complete and waiting for the OPW to sign off.

Both Mr Morey and the Council’s director of roads, Padraig Barrett, also addressed the issue of the town culvert system – an underground drain that was, last August, unable to deal with the level of surface water and caused extensive flooding.

Mr Morey said it has been agreed that the work to repair the culvert system will be done by the roads department of Cork County Council.

Mr Barrett agreed that by treating the culvert system as a standalone project it should progress more quickly.

He said a survey on the culvert connection had been finalised and it would give the roads department ‘options when it comes to construction.’

The good news, he added, is that the latest report showed no signs of deterioration from the previous survey, which was carried out a number of years ago.

Bantry major flood relief project is expected to cost an estimated €6.7m project.

It comprises river flood defences comprising of walls and embankments as well as tidal flood defences, including sea walls.

Another advancement on Bantry’s flood relief measures, according to the county engineer, is that a tidal gauge is to be put in place and the existing temporary rain gauge is to be replaced with a permanent rain gauge to assist in monitoring and preventing flood situations.

Cllr Danny Collins welcomed the updates, which were presented at a meeting of the Western Committee, at a recent meetng.

‘It’s good to see that these projects are in progress,’ said Cllr Collins, ‘but the business people and residents of Bantry have waited long enough.’

He said public representative and the public would keep pressing the County Council and the OPW ‘until these works are underway.’

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