Big step forward for €10m flood defence scheme in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

First meeting: Flood steering group
IT has been confirmed that work is to begin on the huge multi-million euro project to build flood defences at the King’s Island in Limerick within weeks.

IT has been confirmed that work is to begin on the huge multi-million euro project to build flood defences at the King’s Island in Limerick within weeks.

Limerick City and County Council has appointed JBA and Arup Consulting Engineers to lead the development - estimated to cost €10m - in an area ravaged by flooding.

Mayor Jerry O’Dea, who chairs the committee designed to bridge the gap between the engineers and local residents, said a “hugely important” step had been taken with initial designs to be presented to residents in the coming weeks.

A public consultation day is to take place on Wednesday, October 7, where residents can have their say on the structures which, it is hoped, will prevent any repeat of the flood devastation the area experienced in 2014.

And Mayor O’Dea anticipates there will be action on the first part of the project - at Verdant Place - “early in the new year.”

“People have been waiting and hearing talks and rumours over all kinds of things. That is not good for anyone. The whole idea is to engage the residents and stakeholders and get things moving as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Office of Public Works is pumping €427,000 for the initial plans for the scheme, and will fund the rest in stages, with the overall project estimated to cost over €10m.

It will see flood defences built around the perimeter of St Mary’s Park, where it meets the Shannon.

Senior executive officer with the council Paul Foley said that having input from residents was key to the success of the building work.

“When the project was initially announced, there was general recognition that local involvement would be a priority in the design and progression of the plans. The committee will be central to that and having local resident Susan Duhig as liaison officer for the scheme demonstrates real commitment to this,” he said.

It is anticipated that the flood defences will be built in full by mid-2017 at the very latest.