Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, was one of 300 areas believed to be at significant flood risk nationally, and hence assessed as part of the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, the largest ever flood risk study carried out in the State. The CFRAM Programme culminated with the launch of 29 Flood Risk Management Plans on 3 May 2018, and proposed 118 new outline flood relief projects on top of the 42 major projects already completed and the 33 major schemes within the existing capital works programme of the Office of Public Works (OPW).
All of these projects are to be funded under the Government's 10 year flood risk investment programme of almost €1 billion under the National Development Plan 2018 – 2027.
As it is not possible to progress all 118 proposed new schemes at once, funding of €257 million was also announced for an initial phase of 50 flood relief projects throughout the country, to be progressed to detailed design and construction; including the five largest schemes identified in the Plans and 31 small, or minor projects (with an estimated preliminary project budget of under €1 million), which will be progressed directly by Local Authorities. The proposed flood relief scheme in Castleconnell is included in the 31 small projects under €1 million, and is being progressed directly by Limerick City and County Council with full funding from the OPW.
Potentially viable flood relief works for Castleconnell (to be implemented subject to project-level assessment) are likely to 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. The flood protection measures identified under the CFRAM programme are to an outline design, and are not at this point ready for construction. Further detailed design, including a review of costs and benefits, environmental assessment, and consultation will be required for such works before implementation. Therefore, the exact location in Castleconnell at which the defences will be built will be determined through detailed design and project level assessment.
Accordingly, Limerick City and County Council invited tenders for Engineering and Environmental Consultants for this project in January 2019. A preferred tenderer was identified and has now been appointed to progress this scheme. The preferred option identified under the CFRAM programme has an estimated preliminary project cost of €720,000. This is a pre-tender estimate and may change following the design and procurement processes, and will be subject to market conditions at the time of tender.