Friday 18 January 2019

Flood Defence Scheme to go on public display

An artist's impression of the Flood Defence Scheme
An artist's impression of the Flood Defence Scheme

Pádraig Byrne

The long-awaited Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme is to go on public display from Monday of next week. Being billed by the council as a 'public display and information event' the plans for the project, which it is estimated will cost €40-45million, will be available to view at the Atenaeum and Enniscorthy Library and design consultants will also be in attendance to answer any questions.

The major project has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and concerns had been expressed from certain quarters at a perceived lack of progress, particularly when the River Slaney almost burst its banks in the wake of Storm Emma. However, those behind the project are now looking forward to showing the work done to date and outlining what Enniscorthy will look like after the project is complete.

In 2004, the Office of Public Works (OPW), in conjunction with Wexford County Council, undertook a study of the flooding problem in Enniscorthy. A preliminary design for the Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme was developed by the OPW and exhibited for public consultation in 2009. In response to feedback from the public, the preliminary design was further improved and went on public display in 2012.

In November 2015, Design Consultants Mott MacDonald and Roughan & O'Donovan were appointed by Wexford County Council to develop the detailed design for the scheme, which covers a 3.5km stretch of the River Slaney, extending from 1.5km upstream of the Enniscorthy Bridge to 2km downstream.

Perhaps the biggest change the scheme will bring about is the removal of the Seamus Rafter Bridge and the construction of a new bridge 500m downstream, just south of The Riverside Park Hotel. A new pedestrian bridge will be installed in the old one's place and flood defence walls will be installed, including glass panel walls in the town centre. Road junction layouts will also change and a new traffic management plan will be put in place for the town centre.

This display be followed up by a Public Exhibition later this year after which it will go to the Minister for confirmation and construction can begin. Construction is expected to start in 2019 and will take three years to complete. The scheme will go on display at The Athenaeum from Monday, June 11, at 2 p.m. until Sunday, June 17. Design consultants will be present to answer questions on the Monday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. At this point, the display will move to Enniscorthy Library from 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19 to Saturday, July 7 with design consultants present from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 21, 28 and Thursday July 5 from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enniscorthy Guardian