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River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme Wins Engineers Ireland Excellence Award

Wicklow County Council is delighted to have won the Engineers Ireland Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award 2018 for The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme in Bray.

The project was announced as the joint winner at the awards ceremony on Friday night in the InterContinental Hotel, Dublin.

The Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB, are presented annually in recognition of the achievements of engineers who have demonstrated exceptional engineering skills through their work.

The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme is a key infrastructure project completed in October 2017 by Wicklow County Council and the Office of Public Works. The €46m project involved the widening and deepening of the river channel, construction of flood walls and embankments along a 3.3km stretch from Silverbridge at the N11 to the Harbour Bridge at Bray Harbour.

The Dargle broke its banks causing major flooding in Bray in 1905, 1947 and 1961. The last major flood due to Hurricane Charlie in 1986 caused extensive damage to bridges, homes and businesses in Bray. The flood-defence scheme was required to ensure the safety of the people in high-risk areas of the town.

The project comprised a variety of flood defences, including construction of new sections of earth embankments, demolition and rebuilding of river walls with extensive stone facing, channel excavation, regrading and riverbank strengthening. As well as providing flood defences to protect against a 1-in-100-year fluvial flood and 1-in-200-year tidal flood, the project has regenerated public spaces and transformed public amenities making the river accessible to the community once again.

New and improved amenities for the local community include a new linear park at Ravenswell Road, the new boardwalk, as well as landscaping and walkways at the People’s Park and the Lower Dargle Road.

Tom Foley Management Ltd was appointed as Construction Management Services Provider and managed health and safety, procurement, design, construction and budget finance on behalf of Wicklow County Council.

As the River Dargle is a valuable salmon and sea-trout fishery, Wicklow County Council has worked closely with Inland Fisheries Ireland throughout the project to mitigate any potential risks and implement fisheries improvement measures. The Council also undertook extensive stakeholder engagement throughout the project and now encourages community ownership of the scheme.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Councillor Pat Vance, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council and Bray Municipal District said: “This award epitomises our core values of partnership, participation, quality and customer focus.  A number of parties are to thank for making this happen and it would not have been possible without their dedication and support.  ‘Our Town, Our River’ is very much at the heart of Bray, and to this end, this award confirms the excellence that has been achieved in protecting one of the town’s natural resources for the enjoyment of the overall community.”

Read more about the scheme here.

The Greystones South Beach Playground by Wicklow County Council and All Play was also shortlisted in this category.

The Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award was sponsored by Colas Bitumen Emulsion.