Thursday 21 September 2017

Bridge works 'did not cause flooding'

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

CONSTRUCTION works at a railway bridge in Dublin did not cause widespread flooding which devastated homes, cars and businesses last October.

A report commissioned by Iarnrod Eireann (IE) found that debris in the River Dodder in Ballsbridge caused the river bed to erode, and actually increased the water flow under the bridge and reduced the amount of flooding in the area.

Some 300 properties were damaged and more than 250 cars destroyed in Ballsbridge in flooding that hit the city on October 24 last year.

Local residents claimed that scaffolding in the Dodder, erected to carry out bridge maintenance, caused debris to accumulate in the river, which produced a dam effect and led to flooding between Roly's bridge and the IE bridge at Lansdowne Road station.

But hydrology expert Professor Eamon McKeogh from UCC found that the force of the water had eroded the river bed underneath the debris.

"It is true that during the flood the scaffolding trapped floating tree branches and other debris; however, an underwater survey carried out two days after the flood event revealed that the blockage caused by the debris had the effect of increasing the flow velocities under the bridge which initiated major scouring of the river bed," the report said.

The report also noted that the damage was caused by a one in a 100 years flood event.

But local TD Kevin Humphreys (Lab) questioned the report. "I don't accept that more water went under the bridge," he said.

"I'm getting an engineer to look at it and give us an analysis. I do accept there was scour under the bridge, but that wouldn't have happened if a dam hadn't built up under the bridge."

Irish Independent

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