A PROPOSED €6.7m flood relief project for Bantry has reached its first milestone.
The county engineer, Kevin Morey, informed members of the Western Committee in County Hall that although the Bantry project is still ‘at a very early stage,’ an environment and design brief is due to be presented to consultants next month.
Mr Morey said the Bantry project was included in the second tranche of schemes that was announced by the Office of Public Works in May 2018, a scheme that also includes Castletownbere and Schull.
The county engineer explained that the projects form part of a 10-year programme that is in the process of being rolled out nationwide.
The Bantry flood relief scheme will, he added, include flood defences, such as walls, embankments, and sheet pilling, and protect the town from a once-in-a-hundred-years type of flood.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) requested that the works – and the upgrading of the town’s culverts or subterranean drains – be synchronised to avoid causing massive disruption in the town.
Mr Morey confirmed that one project would benefit the other. He said the culvert remedial works would provide capacity for flood water and that the contractors would ‘not be revisiting the same streets twice.’
Mr Morey told the councillors that the engineering department was about to go to tender on the flood scheme and to go through the various approval processes, including the public consultation.
In an unrelated matter, Cllr Collins welcomed a suggestion that flood defence measures might focus on providing flood barriers around four houses in the Ballylickey area, which are under constant threat of flooding from the adjacent river.
It emerged that the Office of Public Works is considering the application on the basis that the problem could be solved by individual defences for these houses.
Meanwhile, Cllr Collins called on the director of roads, Padraig Barrett, to continue the good work done on the N71 from Ballydehob to Bantry by reinstating Glengarriff Road in Bantry town centre.
He said what is there at present could hardly be called a road because it has been dug up and filled so many times in response to water breakages.
The Independent councillor requested that another letter be sent to Irish Water requesting that they replace the water mains along this route, and finish the job with a proper surface, because it is, at present, ‘nothing but a pure disgrace.’