“We are edging ever closer to construction and to work on the ground ” was the verdict from Skibbereen Floods Committee after their meeting at Leinster House last week with Simon Harris T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW and Public Procurement.
Historically Skibbereen has had major floods in 1943, 1944 x2, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1964, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1986 x3, 1988 x2, 1995, 1998 x2, 1999, 2008, 2009 x2, and many near misses over that period too. Over the last 4 years there have been 6 near misses where another two hours rain,spring tide,or change in wind direction could have had further severe consequences–because most people do not now have flood insurance cover.
Because of the history of flooding and the last major flood event in 2009 effort had to be directed to planning for a €14 million Flood Relief Scheme for Skibbereen. It has been designed to provide a 200-year flood event protection for 179 homes and 131 commercial properties. This has been underway since 2010 and has lead to the Public Consultation in 2011, the Public Information Day 2012 and the public Exhibition in 2013. These fed into the Stage 3 Detailed Design which is now 99% complete. There has been ongoing consultation with landowners,private householders and businesses, and at the same time the dotting of a lot of i’s and the crossing of a lot of t’s by the O.P.W as Managers of the Scheme, Cork Co.Co. as their agents and Consultants R.P.S.
The Scheme is now at the final Procurement stage before construction . This is a 2 stage process. In the first stage, 8 contractors have now pre-qualified from an original list of 21 contractors which included 60 specialist sub-contractors. Letters have been sent to the successful and unsuccessful applicants.
The second stage involves the 8 successful applicants tendering for the Scheme. The date for this is mid-February. At the same time Brendan Howlin T.D Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform “confirms” the scheme. It is estimated that the main Works Contractor will be appointed by the end of March and work on the ground to commence May-June and will take two years to complete.
The preparations for this Scheme began in 2010.We are confident that these preparations are nearing completion and expect construction of this long awaited scheme to commence mid-year 2015.
Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme-Skibbereen Floods Committee.