Planners aware of flood risks to €550m motorway – Prof Paul Johnston
26 January 2016
Sections of a multi-million-euro motorway, designed to replace the existing N17/N18 routes, will require raising in parts to avoid flooding, according to Professor Paul Johnston of Trinity College Dublin’s civil and environmental engineering department.
Locals had warned planners that the area had flooded regularly since the mid-1990s and recent storms have seen the four-lane 57km corridor under water once again in a number of areas between Coole and Kiltartan.
Prof Johnston acted as a consultant to the National Parks and Wildlife Service during the planning stages of the project. He confirmed to The Irish Times that at that stage routes were narrowed down to four options between Gort and Athenry.
“We advised on a route slightly to the east of the current one, which would have necessitated building a small embankment, but which would have tried to avoid the sort of water levels it is experiencing now,” he said.
Boreholes were drilled to try and find conduits as part of the case, he said.
Prof Johnston visited the area last Friday along with botanist Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington and Dr Nick Scott. He noted the impact of volumes of water moving towards the sea at Kinvara from the Slieve Aughty mountains.
The N18 is currently impassable at Labane, north of Coole Park, where traffic has been diverted for weeks.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which is building the new route, told The Irish Times that a “detailed environmental assessment was carried out during the route selection process”, which “informed everyone involved in the process of the potential for flooding throughout the region”.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/01/26/planners-aware-of-flood-risks-to-e550m-motorway-prof-paul-johnston/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Flooded.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Flooded-300x300.jpgNewsflooding,Galway,infrastructure,Trinity College Dublin