Min­is­ter Mo­ran of­fi­cially opens the Dar­gle Flood Re­lief Scheme

Bray People - - NEWS - By MARY FOG­A­RTY

The €46M River Dar­gle Flood Re­lief Scheme was of­fi­cially opened at a cer­e­mony in Bray last Wed­nes­day by Min­is­ter of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Mo­ran.

Speak­ing at the event, Min­is­ter Mo­ran said the scheme would pro­tect 650 res­i­den­tial and many com­mer­cial prop­er­ties from flood and rep­re­sented a very sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in the in­fra­struc­ture of Bray and Wick­low and would help the fur­ther growth and de­vel­op­ment of the town.

‘As I drove into the town today, I was very im­pressed to see the new flood walls and the pedes­trian walk­ways along­side them. I must say that I think the fin­ished scheme looks re­ally well and is a credit to all who worked on it and to the peo­ple of Bray who sup­ported the scheme,’ he said.

The Min­is­ter said the re­cent flood events in Done­gal and other parts of the coun­try had high­lighted again the dev­as­ta­tion and loss that flood­ing can cause to peo­ple and their prop­erty. He and his staff in the Of­fice of Pub­lic Works (OPW), along with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, had been work­ing hard to im­ple­ment ef­fec­tive mea­sures to ad­dress this ma­jor prob­lem which was a pri­or­ity for the Gov­ern­ment and for him per­son­ally.

Bray Town had suf­fered con­sid­er­able flood­ing over the years and the OPW work­ing with Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District and Wick­low County Coun­cil de­vel­oped pro­pos­als to ad­dress the prob­lem for the town and pro­tect against the 200-year tidal flood event and the 100year flu­vial event. Con­struc­tion be­gan in 2012 and, de­spite a se­ri­ous set­back in 2013 when the con­trac­tor on the job got into dif­fi­culty, works got un­der way again with­out too much de­lay.

The re­main­ing works were pro­gressed on a phased ba­sis un­der the skil­ful man­age­ment of TKFM Ltd.

Min­is­ter Mo­ran said the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this ma­jor project was pos­si­ble through the hard work of many peo­ple.

He thanked the staff of Wick­low County Coun­cil; Tom Fo­ley and his staff in TKFM Ltd; the OPW, all the staff in the var­i­ous en­gi­neer­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tants and, of course, the con­trac­tors and their em­ploy­ees whose con­struc­tion skills were ev­i­dent.

He also ac­knowl­edged the in­put of his col­league and lo­cal man, Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris, who had a role to play in the pro­gres­sion of this scheme dur­ing his time as Min­is­ter of State with the OPW.

Fi­nally, the Min­is­ter said he wanted to thank the res­i­dents of Bray for their co-op­er­a­tion, re­silience and pa­tience over the course of many years of con­struc­tion works in the town.

‘I know that, at times, there was con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion in the town and this co-op­er­a­tion has been very much ap­pre­ci­ated by all those in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion of the scheme,’ he said.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Wick­low County Coun­cil, Frank Cur­ran, said the scheme was an im­por­tant piece of in­fra­struc­ture which aims to pro­tect the town of Bray and its peo­ple.

It in­volved the widen­ing and deep­en­ing of the river chan­nel, which would make the river as hy­drauli­cally ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble. Con­struc­tion of walls and em­bank­ments along the river­banks will con­tain the flow within the river chan­nel from a 1-in-a-100-year flu­vial flood event of the River Dar­gle and a 1-in-200-year tidal flood event.

The works took place over a 3.3 km stretch from Sil­ver­bridge at the N11 to the Har­bour Bridge at Bray Har­bour and in­cluded the de­mo­li­tion and re­build­ing of river walls with ex­ten­sive stone fac­ing, river re­grad­ing and ex­ca­va­tion to­gether with the pro­vi­sion of de­bris traps to pre­vent trees and other large ob­jects from trav­el­ling down the river.

To mit­i­gate against the im­pacts of the scheme a range of land­scape treat­ments and im­prove­ments have been car­ried out along the river cor­ri­dor. An En­vi­ron­men­tal Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee was set up to en­sure the co-or­di­na­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures.

Mr Cur­ran said the works were car­ried out in a num­ber of phases – Har­bour Bridge to Bray Bridge, Bray Bridge to Peo­ples Park, Re­hills Land to La Vallee; ad­di­tional works were car­ried out to the Ir­ish Rail Bridge, Sea­point Court, the Malt­ings and at Ravenswell Road.

He ac­knowl­edged the the ad­vance planning and work car­ried out by the staff of the for­mer Bray Town Coun­cil, led by Des O’Brien, in en­sur­ing that there were no de­lays when the de­ci­sion was made by the Of­fice of Pub­lic Works to fund the scheme.

This in­cluded the prepa­ra­tion and sub­mis­sion of an EIS to An Bord Pleanala fol­lowed by the ac­qui­si­tion of nec­es­sary lands prior to the ap­point­ment in 2012 of a con­trac­tor to carry out the works.

Ini­tially this scheme was to be a de­sign and build project with a main con­trac­tor but the ap­pointed con­trac­tor went into ex­am­in­er­ship in 2013. At that stage the Coun­cil’s pri­or­ity was to re-com­mence the works as soon as pos­si­ble.

With the ap­proval of the Of­fice of Pub­lic Works Wick­low Co Coun­cil pro­cured a con­struc­tion man­age­ment ser­vice provider and Tom Fo­ley Man­age­ment Co was ap­pointed in July 2014.

This was an in­no­va­tive ap­proach and has proven to be very suc­cess­ful. A num­ber of frame­works were set up to pro­cure both de­sign ser­vices and con­struc­tion con­trac­tors to carry out the nec­es­sary flood de­fence works.

Mr Cur­ran also ac­knowl­edged the work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the var­i­ous state agen­cies in­volved in the de­liv­ery of this project while the co-op­er­a­tion of res­i­dents while the works were be­ing car­ried out was to be com­mended.

Con­clud­ing, he said he would like to recog­nise the work of the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, made up of staff from Wick­low Co Coun­cil, Of­fice of Pub­lic Works and Tom Fo­ley Man­age­ment Co, who worked co­he­sively to­gether in the de­liv­ery of the project which would greatly re­duce the risk of flood­ing and thus en­hance the pro­tec­tion of both pri­vate and pub­lic prop­erty in Bray.

The Leas Cathaoir­leach, Wick­low County Coun­cil, Cllr Pat Vance, said he was de­lighted to at­tend the open­ing of the scheme.

‘ This is ex­tremely im­por­tant to the peo­ple of Bray who have ex­pe­ri­enced flood­ing in the past,’ he said. ‘ The Mem­bers of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District know the ne­ces­sity of the Flood De­fence Scheme to pro­tect prop­er­ties and more im­por­tantly, the lives of the peo­ple of Lit­tle Bray.

‘ The com­bi­na­tion of the low-ly­ing na­ture of Lit­tle Bray vis-a-vis the River Dar­gle, the large num­ber of sin­gle-storey houses, and the pres­ence of a large pro­por­tion of el­derly peo­ple liv­ing in the area makes this a high-risk area. I would like to ac­knowl­edge the pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing of the res­i­dents while the Flood De­fence works were on­go­ing.’

Cllr Vance wel­comed the fact that news­let­ters were for­warded to lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­nesses dur­ing the works pe­riod. ‘I trust this helped keep peo­ple in­formed as to the progress of the scheme,’ he said.

‘ The En­vi­ron­men­tal Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee which met reg­u­larly also helped in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion to rel­e­vant par­ties and af­forded an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal en­gage­ment.

The ad­di­tional ben­e­fits aris­ing from the scheme for res­i­dents in Bray in­cluded the walk­way at Sea­point Court, the Board­walk at Peo­ples Park and the River Walk at Ravenswell Road, he said adding that he was pleased also to see that the Peo­ples Park had been re-in­stated fol­low­ing the con­struc­tion works.

Cllr Vance said: ‘I would like to men­tion the fol­low­ing facts that may be of in­ter­est to you – dur­ing the en­gi­neer­ing works car­ried out as part of this scheme there were two acres of new ma­sonry walls con­structed which equates to the size of the Aviva Sta­dium.

‘A to­tal of 116 new pub­lic seats have been pro­vided to­gether with 16 acres of grassed ar­eas – this is al­most the size of St Stephen’s Green.’

He thanked every­one in­volved with the project and men­tioned that there was an ex­hi­bi­tion on dis­play in the Coun­cil Of­fices, kindly spon­sored by Tom Fo­ley Man­age­ment Com­pany, which was free to the pub­lic en­ti­tled ‘Our Town, Our River’ and he en­cour­aged every­one to at­tend, es­pe­cially schools.

Leas-Cathaoir­leach of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District, Cllr Pat Vance, and Kevin Boxer Mo­ran TD, who of­fi­cially opened the flood scheme.

Work for the now-com­pleted Dar­gle flood de­fence un­der way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.