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OVER €1.2m is calculated as the cost for repairs to the Strand Line Wall in Kilkee.

Punch Consulting Engineers were commissioned by Clare County Council to ascertain the extent of the damage to the Strand Line Wall in Kilkee which has suffered undermining and pressure from the roadside in recent years.

Senior engineer of the Council’s project management office, Seán Lenihan said of the report’s findings, “certain sections of the wall are quite vulnerable and need timely intervention to prevent a possible collapse while other sections need to be strengthened to prevent further deterioration”.

As per the report, a site investigation is recommended on both the road and seaside of the wall with specialist geotechnical advice required “to fully understand the wall behaviour”.

Remedial works are required to sections of the wall which have subsided at Strand Line and Marine Parade. The type of work will be subject to detailed design but are expected to be similar to the base terraces constructed along the wall in 2015 and 2016.

Lenihan outlined that the estimated costs are in the region of €1.2m but are subject to detailed design and “whether repairs rather than reconstruction will suffice to restore stability and avoid a possible collapse and need for reconstruction”.

Findings of the report have been forwarded to the Office of Public Works (OPW) with the Council also applying to the OPW for funding to appoint a consultant to design an intervention at the earliest junction and take the design through to the planning stage. “The outcome of this application will dictate the timeline for the project but if favourable, the planning stage will commence immediately and will take approximately four months while the detailed design and tender stage will take a further five months assuming a favourable planning decision,” Lenihan stated.

He insisted the Council were “fully committed to finding a timely resolution” and have begun some geotechnical ground investigation works as part of the Kilkee Flood Relief Scheme.

An update on the condition of the wall plus costings, timelines and specific requests issued to the OPW was sought by Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) at a recent sitting of the West Clare Municipal District. He believed a more urgent approach was required. “I would find it very difficult to wake up one morning and see the damage. It is a problem for the rest of the world for three months of the year but it is a problem for us year round,” he commented.

“Keep it on the agenda and get it across the line,” Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) encouraged. He recalled that the last time some degree of success was observed with the Strand Line was during Simon Harris’ (FG) tenure as Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Public Procurement, and International Banking from 2014 to 2016. He suggested sending an invite to Patrick O’Donovan (FG) who is the current Junior Minister for the OPW. “Delaying the problem will delay the urgency”.

Acting senior executive officer in the West Clare MD, John O’Malley admitted that it was “very hard to be scientific” in relation to the measurements on the roadside. “We’re all concerned about what is happening, that is genuine,” he remarked.

Work on the Kilkee Flood Relief Scheme should be done in conjunction with repairs to the Strand Line, Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) argued. He flagged that “big numbers” arrive to Kilkee from the Easter holidays onwards each year. “It would be a very quiet place if you didn’t have visitors. The same applies with the N68, sections of it are in need of improvements and restorations, that’s the main road from Ennis to Kilrush and from Lissycasey to Knockerra it is very bad”.

 

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