Monday 23 October 2017

Flood walls, dredging and river widening were all recommended 12 years ago

back in 2004 experts recommended a programme of flood walls, dredging and river widening to ward off any new flooding in Enniscorthy.

More than a decade on, none of the recommendations have come to fruition and it was only last month, that contractors were appointed to carry out the relief work which may start late in 2016.

The following is a news report published in this newspaper in September, 2004:

'The Seamus Rafter bridge should be demolished according to experts brought in to advise on flood prevention in Enniscorthy.

The dramatic proposal to scrap the town's new bridge was contained in a memorandum drawn up by consultants Posford Haskoning and circulated by the Office of Public Works.

The memo concludes that the town can be protected from the devastation that struck in 1924, 1947, 1965 and 2000.

They recommend a programme of flood walls, dredging and river widening to fend off the threat, along with the removal and reconstruction of the bridge opened just over ten years ago at a cost of around £15 million (about €19 million).

The new structure raised local eyebrows because it was so low to the water and, at times of flooding, the waters of the Slaney pass over as well as under the bridge.

The experts now say that it should be demolished and a fresh crossing constructed, possibly at a different location altogether.

The massive cost of such radical actions has already cast doubt on whether it will ever be affordable. However, the old St. Senan's Bridge a couple of hundred metres upstream and dating from the 18th century would be spared in any programme of flood defence.'

Wexford People

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