Posted by Tony Gavin, The Tuam Herald in News.

Delayed flood relief works under the Claregalway scheme are set to progress. It has been confirmed by the OPW Minister Simon Harris has told the Dáil he is about to sign off on the environmental review which has delayed works on the Claregalway Flood Relief Scheme.

EU requirements for an environmental impact statement on such works have significantly delayed the scheme, following the early stages when work was carried out on Claregalway bridge.

Galway West Deputy Sean Kyne who put down the Dáil question said: “The delay to this much-needed project has never been about funding but about new obligations placed on member states by the EU Environmental directives.

“The OPW has already spent €2.5 million of the €7.1 million allocation carrying out works with which it could proceed.

These included the construction of a flood eye at Claregalway bridge, the construction of a new bridge at Crusheeny, and the use of two-long reach machines to remove silt from the bends of the channel and upstream on the Clare River.”

I am encouraged by Minister Harris’ statement in the Dáil today that once the assessment is complete this month the Department will proceed with these important works without further delay. The completion of the project will provide great assurance to the residents and business owners of the locality.”

The Clare River scheme primarily involves:

  • Localised road raising at Miontach North and Miontach South.
  • Construction of a new flood eye at Claregalway Bridge (already completed), with regarding of the existing channel upstream through and downstream of the existing Claregalway Bridge.
  • Selectkive Accelerated Channel Maintenance from Lough Corrib to Cregmore Bridge.
  • Increase the capacity of culverts at various locations on the Kiniska and Islandmore tributaries in conjuction with channel maintenance.
  • Construction of a new bridge at Crusheeny (already completed).
  • Construction of a pipe-line/open channel combination from a) Carnmore and Cashla areas to Islandmore channel and b) from Lakeview area to the Clare River upstream to Claregalway Bridge.
  • Channel widening from 1.3km upstream of Crusheeny Bridge to immediately downstream of Crusheeny Bridge to form a two-stage channel.

Construction of two embankments, one locally at the Old Nine Arch Bridge to include filling of the gap in wall at Mhainistir Estate and the other 1.3km upstream of Crusheeny Bridge to the Islandmore drain with the installation of a non-return on the outfall of the Islandmore drain.

Deputy Kyne told the Dáil that people in the area were exasperated by the delays and wondered if similar projecgts will be subject to the same delays. He said years of delays on such urgent projects were unacceptable.