Combination of measures in latest flood plan
Last November Wexford County Council appointed design consultants Mott Mac Donald (Cork) and Roughan & O'Donovan (Dublin) to proceed with the detailed design of the Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme.
Extreme floods have occurred in 1924, 1947, 1965, 2000, and more recently in 2014.
The council says flooding has resulted in inundation of properties and roads in the town and represents a risk to the health & safety of its inhabitants, causing property damage and traffic disruption and adversely affecting commercial activity in the town and its environs.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) in conjunction with Wexford County Council undertook a study of the flooding problem, following which a preliminary design for the Enniscorthy Flood Defence Scheme was exhibited for public consultation in 2009. This was further improved and went on public display again in 2012.
The Flood Defence Scheme combines a number of measures to prevent flooding in the town. These include river channel widening, river deepening, bridge relocation, and the construction of extensive glass panelled flood walls through the town.
The proposed construction works will cover a 3.5km stretch of the River Slaney, extending from 1.5km upstream of Enniscorthy Bridge to 2km downstream. The main elements of the project include:
l Construction of flood defence walls on both banks, upstream of Enniscorthy Bridge, through the town, finishing just south of the Riverside Park Hotel.
l River channel widening and deepening
l Construction of a flood diversion channel within the flood plain to the south.
l Deepening of the riverbed beneath the existing Railway Bridge & the Old Enniscorthy Bridge.
l Construction of a new road bridge over the River Slaney and Railway Line, located approx. 100m south of the Riverside Park Hotel.
l Removal of the existing Seamus Rafter Bridge.
l Construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the town centre.
Scheme costs are estimated at between €30M and €40M.
The council says that due to the diversity, complexity and aesthetic sensitivity of the engineering measures required, design consultants with proven specialist expertise have been engaged to carry out the detailed design of the scheme. Mott Mac Donald is the main consultant for the Flood Defence Scheme while Roughan & O'Donovan is the bridge consultant.
The detailed design stage has now commenced and is expected to be completed mid 2016. The scheme will go on public display during this stage. Subject to ministerial confirmation, it is planned to start construction at the end of 2016, with an anticipated construction period of three years.
The detailed design process will examine and consider comments and suggestions received, while the construction programme will be dependent on receipt of the relevant permits, licences and approvals, along with seasonal & environmental constraints.