Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW ) and Flood Relief, Kevin “Boxer” Moran (Ind ) was in Athlone on Friday to turn the first sod on the Athlone Flood Alleviation Scheme at Iona Park.
The works at Iona Park will be the first of eight, which are to be delivered in a phased manner. The whole scheme will require investment of approximately €6 million and will provide flood protection to some 250 homes.
“I am absolutely delighted to be here today to turn the sod on this very important flood alleviation scheme for Athlone,” said Minister Moran. “This town has suffered over many years from flooding and from the threat of flooding, and this scheme will bring long awaited relief for Athlone.”
The flood-prone Iona Park will be protected by reinforced concrete walls and earthen embankments. In addition, a section of road will be raised and other associated works will be carried out in the first quarter of 2018.
“It is a great day for Athlone and one that marks the beginning of a new era for our great town,” Minister Moran said. “I am delighted as Minister responsible for flood relief to be able to deliver this scheme for the people of Athlone.”
Flood defence proposals have been in development by the OPW and Westmeath County Council since 2016. The works will be carried out directly by the OPW’s own workforce.
Westmeath County Council has also completed a planning process for the quay in Athlone and hopes to commence works there in the first quarter of 2018, once required site investigations, design and procurement processes are completed. Minister Moran welcomed the news that Westmeath County Council is to commence a part eight process for Brick Island in the next week which, if approved, in early 2018 would allow works there to commence shortly after. The remaining parcels of work will be advanced by the council in 2018.