Written answers

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Flood Relief Schemes Status

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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59. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress that has been made in the planned flood relief scheme for the Castleconnell area of County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41006/19]

Photo of Kevin  MoranKevin Moran (Longford-Westmeath, Independent)
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As part of the Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, was identified as being one of 300 areas believed to be of significant flood risk. As of the launch of 29 Flood Risk Management Plans nationally in May 2018, an initial phase of 50 flood relief projects throughout the country are to be progressed to planning, detailed design and construction; including the five largest schemes identified in the Plans, 14 other flood relief schemes, and 31 small projects (with an estimated preliminary project budget of under €1 million), which will be progressed directly by Local Authorities. The proposed flood relief scheme for Castleconnell is included in the 31 small projects under €1 million.

In January this year Limerick City and County Council invited tenders for Engineering and Environmental Consultants for the development of a flood relief scheme in Castleconnell. A preferred tenderer was identified and has now been appointed to progress the Castleconnell scheme.

Subject to project-level assessment, viable flood relief works for Castleconnell might include construction of a new flood defence wall, embankment and floodgates, and raising roads in key locations, along with maintaining the existing flood forecasting and public awareness campaign operated by the ESB.

A project steering group is in place for the Castleconnell Flood Relief Scheme, comprising personnel from the Office of Public Works and representatives from Limerick City and County Council, to oversee the project being undertaken by the engineering and environmental consultants. The role of the steering group is to identify and design a flood relief scheme that is technically, socially, environmentally and economically acceptable, to alleviate the risk of flooding to the community of Castleconnell to a determined standard of protection, and to procure, manage and oversee the construction of that scheme. This process is at Stage 1, scheme development and design.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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60. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 215 of 6 September 2019, if the project brief for the procurement of engineering and environmental consultants for the Limerick city and environs flood relief scheme has been submitted to the OPW; if not, when it will be submitted; when subsequent consultation will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41043/19]

Photo of Kevin  MoranKevin Moran (Longford-Westmeath, Independent)
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Limerick City & Environs was identified as being one of 300 areas believed to be of significant flood risk as part of the Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme. As of the launch of 29 Flood Risk Management Plans nationally in May 2018, the proposed scheme for Limerick City and Environs in one of the largest of the initial phase of 50 flood relief projects throughout the country to be progressed to planning, detailed design and construction.

This scheme encompasses the King’s Island Flood Relief Scheme, for which Consultants were appointed back in 2015 to develop the permanent flood relief scheme. It is estimated that the full King’s Island scheme will protect approximately 450 residential and 23 commercial properties. Limerick City and County Council is scheduled to lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanála later this year, with an anticipated construction completion date approximately two years thereafter.

The project steering group for the remainder of the Limerick City and Environs Flood Relief Scheme is currently preparing a Project Brief for the procurement of Engineering and Environmental Consultants. The appointed consultants will be tasked with identifying and designing a flood relief scheme that is technically, socially, environmentally and economically acceptable, to alleviate the risk of flooding to Limerick City and Environs to a determined standard of protection, and to procure, manage and oversee the construction of that scheme.

The tender for consultants is scheduled to go to the Office of Public Works’ Engineering and Environmental Consultants framework at the end of Q4 2019 and appoint consultants in Q1 of 2020. Once consultants are appointed to progress this Flood Relief Scheme, consultation with statutory and non-statutory bodies, as well as the public, will take place at the appropriate stages to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to input into the development of these schemes.

The CFRAM programme indicated a preliminary project cost estimate for the preferred option for Limerick City and Environs (including King’s Island) of approximately €56m. Full information on the proposed scheme can be found at floodinfo.ie.

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