Implementation of Crossmolina’s long-awaited €13m Deel Flood Relief Scheme is now down to a ministerial decision, according to local Cllr Michael Loftus.
The Fianna Fáil councillor told thethat local landowners have been issued with registered letters that confirm the scheme, meaning all that is now required for the planned by-pass channel on the Deel to proceed is formal approval from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath.
Cllr Loftus understands that the minister has up to six months to officially approve the scheme but is hopeful that the green light will issue speedily if local Dáil representatives bring sufficient pressure to bear, given that the project has already been subject to rigorous scrutiny by the OPW’s legal department.
Funding has already been ring-fenced for the scheme which has been in planning ever since the devastating floods that saw the Deel burst its banks and damage up to 120 local homes and business properties in late 2015.
The proposed flood relief solution for the River Deel is a diversion channel upstream of the town of Crossmolina which will redirect floodwaters away from the town, directly to the flood plains of Lough Conn.
The scheme will be designed to cater for what is known as the 100-year flood event through the construction of the diversion channel and an intake structure with a capacity of 110 cubic metre per second. The project will be completed on a phased basis over the next three to four years.
“It’s now in the political sphere. The OPW has done its work,” Cllr Loftus explained, adding that he will be appealing to local TDs to lobby the minister to progress the project.
Deputy Dara Calleary has visited the site.
Cllr Loftus says he will also be lobbying Mayo Co Council to take advantage of the impending scheme to carry out some much-needed road upgrades in the Crossmolina area including the removal of bad bends on sections of the R315 and Rakestreet roads.
The local authority has been deferring these works until such time as the flood relief scheme is approved.
“I think the issuing of letters to landowners is a positive step for Crossmolina. We have been waiting since early 2016 for this project to come to fruition. I think that at long last we have maybe got there,” the councilllor concluded.