Friday 21 September 2018

50 flood defence schemes to get underway in at-risk towns and cities - plan reveals

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Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE State is to undertake 50 priority flood defence schemes in some of the country's at-risk towns and cities.

Office of Public Works Minister Kevin Boxer Moran has announced details of five large-scale projects to get underway in Dundalk, Tralee, Limerick, Carlingford and Drogheda, costing at least €15m each and designed to project 4,000 properties.

And another 14 schemes will get underway in six river catchment areas, including Galway City. These projects will cost between €1m and €5m, and will protect 3,300 properties.

The projects form part of the national Flood Risk Management Plans launched in Athlone this morning by Mr Moran and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

They follow assessment of 300 areas across the country at risk of flooding, with 118 schemes identified as being required at a cost of €1bn.

They will be built out to 2027, but 50 have been prioritised for delivery.

The most expensive is in Limerick, costed at more that €40m. The OPW will have an annual budget of at least €100m by 2021 to progress schemes.

On top of the 19 large-scale projects to be directly built by the OPW, another 31 smaller schemes costing up to €1m will be undertaken by local authorities.

But Mr Moran said he wanted to see defences built as fast as possible, and if local authorities had schemes they believed should proceed, they should contact the OPW.

"The initial 50 I'm announcing today are prioritised, but I gave a commitment to build defences so if local authorities have projects the OPW will help with expertise to drive schemes," he told Independent.ie.

Some projects have not been included on the priority list, including ones at Burnfoot in Donegal.

However, these could be progressed by councils and funding would be available, the minister added.

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