Midleton Northern Relief Road Bridge Study Shows Mill Road Should Not Have Flooded

By Seamus Whelehan

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The 2016 flood on Mill Road and Meadow Bank in Midleton which did untold damage to property and displaced families could have been avoided, claims Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley.

The Midleton based deputy said that human negligence was the cause of flooding on the Mill Road.

The TD for Cork East said the flood exposed the manner in which development in the area has taken place over the past decade, especially the practice of building on flood plains.

Citing a report by JBA consulting on behalf of Cork County Council in 2013, the Deputy stated the recent flood should not have come as a surprise to the Authorities.

Prior to the flash flood of July 2013 the Office of Public Works (OPW) approved €19,000 for Cork County Council, for the completion of the Midleton Northern Relief Road Bridge Study.

A draft plan was completed in July 2013 with the final version published with minor updates following comments from Cork County Council in October of that year.

The study carried out by Cork County Council on behalf of the OPW, warned of a significant risk of flooding to Willowbank and the Mill Road area.

The engineers and hydrologists involved in the report warned that the construction of the Midleton Northern Relief Road Bridge, associated embankment and other works had impacted on river levels upstream.

They warned that flood levels west of the river channel had also increased, with a potential flood risk identified further downstream.

The comprehensive study questioned the construction of the relief road stating that there had been “an under prediction of river levels, largely based on mitigation measures that were not implemented, leading to a bridge design with a low soffit level.”

The authors stated that the construction of a large embankment across the flood plain had led to the increased risk of flood, reducing flood storage and critically impacting on flood flow routes prior to the construction of the ring road.

Pinning responsibility for faulty planning and cost cutting measures during construction, they suggest an earthen flood embankment costing €25,000 would have reduced the risk. The embankment would stretch over a length of 100m tying into high ground to the north near Willowbank and the Midleton Northern relief Road.

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