Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Gerald Mitchell welcomed the approval of the King’s Island Flood Relief Scheme to enter its tender stage. Cllr Gerald Mitchell, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick and Patrick O’Donovan TD . Picture: Keith Wiseman
The Office of Public Works (OPW) has approved Limerick City and County Council to proceed with issuing tenders for the construction of the King’s Island Flood Relief Scheme
Following the announcement, the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Gerald Mitchell welcomed the approval and the “meticulous planning and the collaborative efforts of Limerick City and County Council, the Office of Public Works “.
The project will take two years to complete and will start later in the summer of 2024, bringing protection from significant flooding to 528 homes and businesses by the end of 2026.
Mayor Mitchell said, “We have reached this stage of development thanks to meticulous planning and the collaborative efforts of Limerick City and County Council, the Office of Public Works, consultants and other stakeholders.”
The Limerick City and County Mayor also thanked the “steadfast commitment” of the OPW and Minister Patrick O’Donovan TD to the project.
“It is ten years ago since King’s Island was devastated by significant flooding and the images of residents being taken from their homes in boats will live long in the memory,” Said Mayor Gerald Mitchell, adding, “Today we are taking a significant step towards delivering vital works to protect homes and businesses in the area.”
Director of Service, Planning, Environment and Place-Making at Limerick City and County Council, Vincent Murray describes the scheme as crucial for Limerick.
He said, “The Kings Island Flood Relief Scheme will enhance the local community and give peace of mind to the residents and business owners. As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, the need for resilient flood protection becomes increasingly evident.
“We are also delighted as a Council to fund public realm upgrades, which will not only improve the visual landscape but will also improve the overall quality of life for people living and working in King’s Island.”
Minister O’Donovan said, “I know that a great deal of work has gone into developing this scheme in an important area of Limerick city with both environmental and archaeological sensitivities.
“I also understand that in addition to the much-needed flood relief scheme there will also be important amenities provided for the local community through public realm and significant conservation works undertaken to those areas of the scheme that interface with the historic fabric of this particularly important area.”
The Minister commended the work undertaken by the OPW and Limerick City and County Council staff “in getting the scheme to this important stage”.
He said, “I look forward now to the appointment of a contractor and the commencement of works during the summer of this year.”
The King’s Island Flood Relief Scheme will complete the flood protection measures for this important part of the city, following the advance works at Verdant Place completed in 2017 that involved repointing the existing stone wall and construction of a reinforced concrete wall.
Minister O’Donovan said: “These advance works together with the sheet piling behind the embankments in 2014 were promised by the OPW following the significant flooding in February 2014 and to help alleviate the risk from flooding until the full scheme was designed and constructed.”
The design of the scheme began in 2015 with the appointment of ARUP and JBA consultants to develop a permanent flood relief scheme for King’s Island. The preferred option for the scheme, which was subject to public consultation, received planning approval in May 2021.
Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) and the consultants have been finalising the detailed design for the scheme, to ensure that the scheme adds wider community benefits to this part of the city and is aligned to the importance of the archaeological and conservation aspects of the quays.
While the overall costs of the scheme are being funded by the OPW, through the Government’s €1.3bn funding for flood relief measures under the National Development Plan, LCCC is committing to funding the public realm upgrade elements of the scheme.