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‘Mitigate against flooding on Clare roads’

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*Spot flooding on the Tulla Rd in Ennis. FILE PIC

A co-ordinated approach to the management of surface water on Clare roads would limit the impact of spot flooding on the public and save valuable money, local councillors have outlined.

Road users are increasing daily despite COVID-19 restrictions only changing by allowing an extra 3km for exercise and for over 70s to venture 2km from their home. Surface water is not as prevalent on the roads with Clare councillors having recently highlighted ways in which to limit its impact permanently.

Completion of a full survey on all infrastructure in the county “designed to alleviate flooding on local and regional roads” was requested by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) at a recent meeting of the County Council. He believed that water outlets and rivers adjacent to roads required “major attention”. He suggested the local authority co-ordinate such work with other bodies “with a view to improve how surface water can be better managed and reduce the impact on the public during spells of heavy rainfall”.

€879,864 was allocated by the Department of Transport to Clare County Council in a drainage grant for 2020. The funds will be used for the remediation and improvement of defective drainage systems plus the cleaning and opening of gullys and water intlets. Off road drainage is also to be treated as part of the works.

Senior engineer with the Council, John Leahy stated that they are liaising regularly with the Office of Public Works (OPW) on the need for flood relief schemes.

“There are large elements of flooding which probably we will not be able to do anything with,” Cllr Flynn said but elaborated, “It is possible to mitigate against flooding on roads”. Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) seconded the motion and underlined the benefit of the expertise within the Council. “We do have significant expertise already, local operatives know where the problems are, get them to feed on the information so we know the priority places to deal with”.

Positioning of outlets was criticised by Cllr Michael Begley (IND), “outlets are not doing their job because they are in the wrong place”. He conceded, “road drainage in heavy rain is a difficult one to get right”. Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) also supported the motion.

Council engineers were best placed to come up with a solution, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) felt. He acknowledged the problem was “serious” and better management “would save money for the local authority”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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