Flood Relief Schemes progressing for Clonakilty, Bandon & Skibbereen

QUESTION NOS: 205, 206 & 207

DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Brendan Howlin
by Deputy Jim Daly
for WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014.

* 205. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the up to date position regarding flood relief schemes for the West Cork towns Clonakilty, Bandon & Skibbereen; the commencement and completion dates of each; the budgetary position of each and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Jim Daly TD

I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works in relation to the proposed flood relief scheme for Skibbereen the position is that the detailed design of the Scheme is nearing completion. The first stage of the procurement process for a civil works contractor to undertake the works has been commenced by Cork County Council, which is the Contracting Authority for the Scheme. Tender documents are likely to be issued to a shortlisted number of contractors in early August with a contractor expected to be appointed in late 2014, subject to Confirmation of the Scheme i.e. formal approval by my Department as required under the Arterial Drainage Acts.

In relation to Clonakilty, consultants appointed by OPW are currently working towards developing viable options for a flood relief scheme.

A second Public Consultation will take place on 2 July, 2014 in Clonakilty to provide an opportunity for members of the public to give their views on the direction the scheme is taking. The OPW expects to be in a position to present the preferred option at the statutory Public Exhibition of the scheme in the Autumn.

Following the Public Exhibition, the detailed design of the scheme will commence and once this has been completed, procurement of contractors to carry out the works will be initiated. Subject to broad acceptance of the scheme proposals by the public and to successful completion of the tender process, it is hoped that construction will start towards the end of 2015, again subject to Confirmation of the Scheme by my Department.

With regard to Bandon, detailed design of the flood relief scheme is now almost completed. The first stage of the procurement process for a civil works contractor was commenced in November 2013. However, following a legal challenge the OPW terminated the process. The OPW will recommence the pre-qualification process very shortly.

The effect of having to re-run the process has meant that construction works are now expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015 rather than the previously anticipated start time of September 2014. However, the delay in starting the works does not affect the completion date of the Scheme, which will still be programmed for completion towards the end of 2016. The reason for this is that the Scheme requires two summer seasons of channel works due to environmental constraints, and the scheme programme provides that works would take place in the summers of 2015 and 2016. The commencement of construction will of course, be dependent upon Confirmation of the Scheme.

Construction of each of the schemes is likely to take 18 – 24 months to complete. The OPW has provided for the cost of the schemes in its multi-annual budget profiles for the period 2014-2017.