The official opening of the River Dargle Flood Defence Works by the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, took place on 8 November 2017.
This scheme is a very important piece of infrastructure that aims to protect the town of Bray and its people.
The advance planning and work carried out by the staff of the former Bray Town Council led by Des O’Brien ensured that there were no delays when the decision was made by the Office of Public Works to fund the scheme. This included the preparation and submission of an Environmental Impact Statement to An Bord Pleanala followed by the acquisition of necessary lands prior to the appointment in 2012 of a contractor to carry out the works. Initially, this scheme was to be a design-and-build project with a main contractor but the appointed contractor went into examiner ship in 2013. At that stage, the Council’s priority was to re-commence the works as soon as possible. With the approval of the Office of Public Works, Wicklow County Council procured a construction management service provider and Tom Foley Management Co was appointed in July 2014. This was an innovative approach and has proven to be successful. A number of frameworks were set up to procure both design services and construction contractors to carry out the necessary flood defence works.
The scheme involves the widening and deepening of the river channel, which will make the river as hydraulically efficient as possible. Construction of walls and embankments along the riverbanks will contain the flow within the river channel from a 1 in a 100 year fluvial flood event of the River Dargle and a 1 in 200 year tidal flood event. These works took place over a 3.3 km stretch from Silverbridge at the N11 to the Harbour Bridge at Bray harbor.
The works included the demolition and rebuilding of river walls with extensive stone facing, river regrading and excavation together with the provision of debris traps to prevent trees and other large objects from travelling down the river. To mitigate against the impacts of the scheme a range of landscape treatments and improvements have been carried out along the river corridor. An Environmental Monitoring Committee was set up to ensure the co-ordination of environmental mitigation measures.
The works were carried out in a number of phases – Harbour Bridge to Bray Bridge, Bray Bridge to Peoples Park, Rehills Land to La Vallee; additional works were carried out to the Irish Rail Bridge, Seapoint Court, the Maltings and Ravenswell Road.
Along with the flood defences, there have been enhancement works that have transformed the local environment by new and improved landscaping and walkways at People’s Park, Ravenswell Road and the Lower Dargle Road with the addition of the Boardwalk, which complements and provides linkage between the People’s Park and the Fran O’Toole Bridge
The delivery of this project which will greatly reduce the risk of flooding and thus enhance the protection of both private and public property in Bray.
The overall cost of the scheme is €46 million.