Wednesday 14 November 2018

€1.5m boost for flood relief

Minister hails 'fantastic news' as funding allows for total area of 2.1km to be flood protected

Ministers Kehoe and Moran are shown the new river walk in New Ross by Eamonn Hore of Wexford County Council
Ministers Kehoe and Moran are shown the new river walk in New Ross by Eamonn Hore of Wexford County Council
Minister Paul Kehoe, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin Boxer Moran and Cllr Anthony Connick on the Dunbrody ship

David Looby

A massive funding announcement of over €1.5m for the 2.1km New Ross flood protection scheme and new riverwalk has been announced.

Minister Kevin Boxer Moran and Minister Paul Kehoe paid a visit to the town on Monday to inspect the ongoing flood protection works being constructed along the River Barrow throughout the town centre area.

Minister Moran, with responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, said: 'I was extremely impressed with the work of Wexford County Council. I assured them that they won't be found wanting in relation to the additional funding, on the basis that they meet the necessary criteria. I look forward to working with the team in New Ross towards a positive outcome for the town.'

The additional funding being made available to Wexford County Council will be in excess of €1.5m.

New Ross has suffered serious flooding over many years with the floods of 2014 causing major hardship and loss to many homes and businesses. District Director Eamonn Hore said: 'But for the construction of the current works, all the business opposite the town park including Sid's Diner, Prim Ed, Ronan's Full and Plenty, Rail to Rail and the new butchers would have already flooded twice in the last six months.'

John Curtin, Chief Engineer with the Office of Public Works, was also on hand to appraise the technical aspects of the ongoing flood works.

Minister Kehoe with responsibility for the Department of Defence said: 'This is fantastic news for New Ross. This has been a priority of mine for many months and I intend to continue to liaise with Minister Moran to ensure these flood protection measures are delivered.'

Minister Moran was particularly impressed with the glass panel walls which maintain the views of the Barrow. He was also delighted with the added value of the magnificent riverside walk under construction along the top of the new flood protection banks. He said that this is a brilliant example of an additional town amenity arising from the flood works.

The new riverside walk links directly to the newly reconstructed Blue Flag marina which then links along the existing riverside footpath to the award winning New Ross quayfront and boardwalk and internationally renowned Emigrant Flame. The new riverside walk will further link with the existing footpath to the Oaklands Lake Trail.

Mr Hore paid tribute to the consultants on the Great New Ross River Walk and flood wall scheme, TJ O'Connor & Associates. 'With relatively limited funding, the consultants have managed to put in place an innovative and really cost effective design to protect the town of New Ross on both sides of the River Barrow. The number of properties included in the flood protection zone amounts to 416 in total. The overall cost of this phase of the scheme when completed will amount to €3.15m. By any measurement this represents excellent value for money and a great investment in the future of New Ross.'

Mr Hore also complimented contractors MJS for the quality of their workmanship and paid special tribute to Jim Thorpe of Wexford County Council who is overseeing the works. The overall scheme now incorporates a 2.1km length of protection works. The original interim works constructed as part of the 2009 New Ross Main Drainage extended for a length of 430m.

District Manager Sinead Casey made a presentation to Minister Boxer Moran of a painting of New Ross town in the 14th century and some mouth watering Wexford strawberries.

Minister Moran also took time out to greet the members of the New Ross and District Pipe Band who duly piped a welcome song for the minister which was much appreciated.

Chief Executive of Wexford County Council Tom Enright thanked both ministers for their commitment and interest in resolving the serious flooding problems in New Ross.

The current flood protection works includes: 740m of engineered clay embankment, 775m of reinforced concrete walls (some stone faced at town centre and key public realm sites, 208m of glass panelled walls, ten demountable barriers, various elements of pumping station and plant development and drainage design to prevent flooding. It also includes checking of all surface water, pipe overflow and outlet connections to the river Barrow and provision of appropriately designed non-return valves, flap valves, in line valves etc.

The construction of headwalls, manholes, inspection chambers etc, along with ancillary works and accommodation works, is also included.

New Ross Standard