It may take two decades to develop an under road piping system throughout Waterford city and county which could more satisfactorily handle flood and storm waters similar to those unleashed by Storm Frank.
That’s the view of City & County Council Roads Director Paul Daly, who provided Councillors with a considered assessment of what needs to be put right throughout Waterford in the wake of the late December inundation.
Future under road culvert installation throughout Waterford’s 3,000-kilometre road network (which features 2,500km of rural road) will have to accommodate for pipes measuring either 600mm or 900mm, added Mr Daly.
But he advised Councillors: “It’s one thing to say ‘that’s what needs to be done’, but it’s not something that’s going to be done quickly; that’s a policy decision that will have to be made and then executed over a 20-year period.”
It’s also hoped that problems at the Kingsmeadow Roundabout and the immediate section of the Cork Road leading off the roundabout in front of Iceland and McDonalds, which flooded twice during December, will be addressed this year.
The specific issue on the Cork Road, according to Mr Daly, relates to collapsed culvert piping running beneath the road, something he described as “a very complicated culvert problem; it’s going to be very expensive to fix but we will get it fixed because we need to get it fixed”.
City & County Mayor John Cummins (FG) said that the ongoing Cork Road problem was the result of a “culvert that has completely collapsed across the road and that the cost of that would be around €200,000 or more”.
Mayor Cummins argued that the works required there ought to be included as part of the city’s ongoing Flood Relief Scheme, therefore making it applicable to funding from the Office of Public Works (OPW), a point Mr Daly subsequently concurred with.
Replying to a query from Cllr Pat Fitzgerald (SF), Mr Daly confirmed that a macadam dressing will be used as a matter of course throughout Waterford during the repair/remedial works which will be undertaken over the next few months.
Crushed stone had been predominantly used in the laying of older surfaces in the county, with Mr Daly stating that many such roads tend to get “blown away” during severe weather events such as Storm Frank.