Portarlington Flood Relief Scheme (FRS)
Portarlington is a borough, market and post-town on the border of County Laois and County Offaly, Ireland. Portarlington is split by the River Barrow, which is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), including conservation efforts for the restoration of favourable conditions for Salmon, and being a catchment with previous records of Margaritifera (an endangered species of freshwater mussel).
As part of the Government’s National Development Plan 2018-2027, almost €1 billion has been committed to the investment into flood relief measures across the country. Following on from this commitment, a steering group was established between the OPW and Laois County Council to progress a flood relief scheme to alleviate the risk of flooding for the community of Portarlington. In Summer 2020, a Joint Venture (JV) between Binnies (B) and Nicholas O’Dywer (NOD) were appointed as Consultants, to develop a scheme that is socially, environmentally, economically and technically acceptable.
Portarlington has had a history of serious flooding with major events occurring as recently as Jan-2020, with others in Nov-2017 and 2008. Development of proposals will consider the impact on neighbouring communities in line with requirements of the EU Floods Directive.
To address flooding issues nationally, the Office of Public Works (OPW) commissioned and completed Catchment and Flood Risk Management (CFRAM) studies covering the entire country. The River Basin (14) Barrow CFRAM Study was completed with support from various County Councils, including Offaly and Laois County Councils. An output of the study identified flood risk areas, including Portarlington and Mountmellick, and the associated impacts of flooding. The plan also set out the measures and policies to be pursued in order to achieve the most cost effective and sustainable management of flood risk.
Following the launch of the CFRAM Study findings, B/NOD were appointed in August 2020 to complete a detailed project level engineering assessment for Portarlington. The assessment will involve identification of appropriate flood risk alleviation measures and preparation of detailed design drawings and documents. B/NOD (JV) will carry out the appropriate Environmental Assessments including the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and the Natura Impact Statement (NIS), where required under the relevant legislation.
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Surveys (News page)
The Project Team is currently working on acquiring the most up-to-date, reliable and valid information to inform the basis of design. Gaps in this will be filled by undertaking the appropriate surveys, with work commencing on this in the near future.
Newsletters (News page)
Project newsletter no. 1 is now ready to download and is also available via the 'news' section of the website. A project newsletter will be uploaded approximately every 3 months as the project progresses and will provide information on recent activities undertaken, upcoming activities and other relevant information.
Public Engagement Event (News page)
A date for the first Public Engagement Event will be released in due course. This event shall allow for a consultation on the emerging scheme options.