After a four-month closure for flood prevention works, the main Waterford-Tramore Road was re-opened last Friday – with the results of the first real acid (rain) test expected later this year.
The R675 improvements, which cost approximately €2 million, were undertaken as part of the overall Waterford City Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Funded by the Office of Public Works, the project consisted mainly of raising the road level in Kilbarry Bog up to the predicted one-in-ten year flood level. The route has also been narrowed to allow for drainage channels and pedestrian paths.
The wetlands on either side of the road form a proposed Natural Heritage Area and together with the old Kilbarry landfill site will comprise the overall Waterford Nature Park – a €4m, 50-acre ‘urban oasis’ due to open next year.
The drainage system from the Green Road to the Outer Ring Road intersection at Ballindud has also been substantially improved following works which commenced last November. The design team was led by Malone O’Regan Consulting Engineers, with ecological input from Atkins Global, under the general supervision of Waterford City Council. The contractor was Bowen Construction Limited.
The main Tramore road has been prone to flooding since the early 1960s due to the adjacent John’s River wetlands being inundated through a combination of heavy rainfall and high tides.
Though a “not perfect” solution, it’s anticipated that by raising the surface by varying amounts of up to a metre between the Inner Ring (Superquinn) and Green Road junctions, flooding episodes will be far less frequent.
City Council Senior Engineer Frank Roche explains that “as the road is constructed on significant depths of peat, a temporary surface dressing is being used for a period of six months to accommodate any possible settlement. Following this period, the final layers of macadam and asphalt will be overlaid.”