Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (75)

Dara Calleary


75. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the Crossmolina flood relief scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39569/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

This important project is now at an advanced stage with detailed design work nearing completion to determine the final design plan for the flood alleviation works.

Hydraulic modelling required for the design of the proposed channel diversion established that there was a need for an in-stream flow control structure to minimise the overall environmental impact on the river system.

Necessary work is now taking place to identify ecological and environmental constraints associated with the in-stream works required for the proposed flow-control structure. These include reducing velocities to ensure no damage to the bed of the river and associated ecosystems, and minimising impacts on the pearl mussel and crayfish populations, and adhering to EU legislation in relation to alluvial woodlands.

The project team is ensuring that any tasks that can be progressed in parallel with the above environmental assessment will be prioritised, in order to minimise any programme delays.

It is anticipated that the detailed design and preparation of the relevant documentation should be completed to allow the proposed scheme to be submitted to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal Confirmation under the Arterial Drainage Act by the end of the year.

Following Confirmation and tendering it is anticipated that the scheme should progress to construction in the second half of 2020.

Once the proposed scheme is confirmed, the OPW will contact landowners directly in order to provide information and advice prior to construction commencing.

As previously highlighted, in the interim, the following measures are in place to help alleviate the flooding problems in the town pending the delivery of the flood relief scheme:

- Individual Property Protection (IPP): The OPW and Mayo County Council in conjunction with the local Flood Action Group, have substantially progressed the pilot IPP project for Crossmolina, which has already installed floodgates in approximately 100 properties.

- Maintenance: The OPW has carried out maintenance works including lowering of the berm downstream of Jack Garrett Bridge.

- Minor Works: The OPW has also approved Mayo County Council's application for funding for a number of minor works projects in the town, and these have been put in place by the Council.

I can assure the Deputy that the OPW will continue to work constructively with Mayo County Council and the local Flood Action Group to take all feasible interim measures to alleviate the risk of flooding in the town.

Crossmolina is a priority project within the OPW’s flood investment programme and the project team are working hard to minimise further delays and to bring this much needed project to construction and completion.