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28 Sept 2022

Time frame put on extensive flood defence scheme for Portarlington

A flood on the Barrow Bridge in Portarlington in 2017. Photo: Michael Scully.

A flood on the Barrow Bridge in Portarlington in 2017. Photo: Michael Scully.

Public consultation on vital flood defences for Portarlington has commenced on a €7 million project which engineers involved say should see construction completed in 2025.

Barry Dunphy, of Nicholas O'Dwyer engineering firm, is the project manager. He said O'Dwyers and Binnies were appointed in 2020 to appoint provide engineering services for the project.

He said the timescale for delivery runs from September 2020 to 2026. 

"It is estimated that construction work will begin in 20204 and should be completed with the flood relief scheme in position in 2025," he said.

Mr Dunphy said work is ongoing on stage one some of which has been completed. Stage one is primarily focused on surveys and options. 

Part of the work will involve reviewing and refining an early proposed plan which relied heavily on 'heavy defences' or flood walls.  More than 140 properties are at risk of flooding in the Laois Offaly town.

WATCH ENGINEERS FULL PRESENTATION AT END OF THE ARTICLE.

Residents, businesses and all interested parties are invited to learn details of what is involved and the path to delivering protection from the town at a virtual consultation event.

The multi-agency project is led by Laois and Offaly County Councils and the Office of Public works. The companies contracted to deliver designs want the public's view on the contents of the online presentation available through YouTube and www.floodinfo/portarlingtonfrs.

Questionnaire forms are available on the website and local council offices or in libraries. The closing date for initial submissions is January 5, 2021.

Portarlington has had a history of serious flooding with major events occurring as recently as Jan-2020, with others in Nov-2017 and 2008. Development of proposals will consider the impact on neighbouring communities in line with requirements of the EU Floods Directive.

As part of the Government’s National Development Plan 2018-2027, almost €1 billion has been committed to the investment into flood relief measures across the country. Following on from this commitment, a steering group was established between the OPW and Laois County Council to progress a flood relief scheme to alleviate the risk of flooding for the community of Portarlington. In Summer 2020, a Joint Venture (JV) between Binnies (B) and Nicholas O’Dywer (NOD) were appointed as Consultants, to develop a scheme.

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