By Orla Hearns
Ballina Municipal District councillors are dubious that the long-planned flood relief scheme for Ballina town will be delivered on target.
An overview of the scheme was presented to councillors last Wednesday by council engineering staff, including Michael O’Grady, who explained that the scheme got underway on March 9 last and should be completed by 2026.
It envisions the creation of new defences at The Quay village and new walls at Clare St and Bachelors Walk as well as the raising of the Moy river bank on Cathedral Road and the replacement of walls and railings on Ridgepool Road together with the installation of two new pumping stations.
Delivery of the scheme will be spread out over a six-stage programme with phase one consisting of extensive data collection to feed into design models and identify potential solutions. The handover of the completed measures is currently targeted for 2026.
The update was broadly welcomed by the district’s six councillors, several of whom requested that the scheme incorporate public realm works like footpath replacements, cycle/walking paths, boardwalks and even the construction of a new jetty where feasible.
But Cllr Michael Loftus said he felt the engineers were being very optimistic about the timelines, given the experience with the Deel scheme for Crossmolina where Cllr Loftus is based.
“We are four years into it in Crossmolina at this stage and we still don’t have anything in the ground.”
Mr O’Grady said the council believed that the projected timelines were reasonable and that they will “keep a push on things”.
He confirmed that public realm works would be considered as part of the scheme.
A public consultation will take place in the Kennedy Glasgow Building at The Quay in Ballina this Wednesday, September 23, from 4pm to 8pm.
Members of the public must pre-book an appointment by emailing [email protected] com or calling 091-400220.
A virtual consultation will also be held in the coming days.