COUNCILLORS were given an update on the various flood schemes taking place around West Cork, at a recent Western Committee meeting.
Engineer Kevin Costello began with the €11m Bandon scheme, saying the main contract is complete, but the operation and maintenance of the scheme is ‘being progressed’ by the Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW).
Clonakilty’s €10m flood relief scheme is, he added, at a very advanced stage and is likely to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2021.
Skibbereen’s €15.8m scheme is complet, except for some minor snagging, which is being closed out by the contractor, Jons Civil Engineering.
Mr Costello confirmed that ‘works packages’ for elements that were outside the scope of Skibbereen’s main flood scheme – at The Cutting and Cork Road – are being progressed.
The proposed €6.7m flood relief project for Bantry is at ‘stage one,’ which means that tender documents for the design and environmental consultants are complete but awaiting OPW approval.
Mr Costello said that a ‘high-level’ environmental review has been carried out to determine which is the fastest and most effective way of carrying out the rehabilitation and repair of Bantry’s culvert system.
He said the Council’s water and roads departments are working together to expedite the project and possibly apply for a Part 8 planning application.
Mr Costello and the county engineer, Kevin Morey, outlined how interim flood relief measures – which were tested by heavily sandbagging the open quay wall – might qualify for funding under a minor works programme.
Mr Costello said that the pre-Christmas flood in Bandon was due to an incomplete sewer network, but that when the project is finished – in the first quarter of 2021 – ‘a larger storm sewer that should prevent a similar event.’
The consultants appointed to investigate the flooding at Rosscarbery have submitted their initial draft report and this is under review.
Mr Costello said a draft list of short and long-term recommendations for Rosscarbery, and a timeline for them, are being considered.
In relation to the flooding at Rathbarry, he said a report has been submitted but ‘further investigations are ongoing.’
The omission of Dunmanway – for the second time – from the bi-monthly flood report annoyed Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) who requested that the town be featured in all future reports.
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) raised the issue of flooding at Ring Road and asked if the Council would apply for funding under the minor works scheme to resolve the issue.
The county engineer said the Council could tailor a funding proposal to include flood damage to a local pub because focusing on housing and businesses rather than just road would improve ‘the cost benefit ratio.’
Meanwhile, Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) complained that a flood solution for residents at Ballylickey has been ‘promised for years but there is still no money coming from the OPW.’