AN €8.6 million flood relief scheme that will protect more than 120 homes, along with businesses and St Flannan’s College, in Ennis is being delayed as a result of a “contractural issue”.
Clare County Council has confirmed that the preferred contractor for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has formally withdrawn their tender and works are now not expected to begin until next year at the earliest.
It had been anticipated that the project would get underway this summer.
The scheme now has to be re-tendered “at the earliest juncture” and “works on the ground will most likely not commence until the spring of 2019,” the local authority stated.
Councillor Johnny Flynn expressed disappointment at the delay in “this crucial piece of infrastructure”. The scheme represents the final phase of flood defence works in the town and includes the townlands of Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey, which suffered badly during the floods of 2009.
Minister of State Pat Breen assured that despite the delay, the funding is secure.
Minister Breen said, “I was disappointed to learn that the work on the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme will inevitably be delayed slightly as the project must go to tender again, but I have been assured by my colleague, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin “Boxer Moran”, that work will begin on the project in the shortest possible timeframe.
“As this is a repeat tender much of the preparatory work has already been completed, so work is expected to begin on site early next year. I have been assured by Clare County Council that the tender will be advertised before the end of this month, and this element of the process will be completed before the end of September.
“I was also informed that a contractor will be appointed by the end of the year and work will begin in early 2019,” he added.
“I spoke with Minister Moran on the issue and he has confirmed to me that the €8.6m funding for the project is secure, and will be available to complete this final element in the €39m programme of works for Ennis. He has also confirmed that the process will be completed in the shortest possible timeframe.
“It is imperative that all bodies continue to work together to ensure the new contractor is in place as soon as possible,” he said
Funding for the scheme was originally announced back in February.