Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today visited the Pound 5.1 million Shimna River Flood Alleviation Scheme in Newcastle.
The Minister was on site to meet the team taking forward this vital construction project and check progress on the scheme, which will see construction of 1430 metres of flood walls and embankments that will extend both upstream into Tipperary Wood and downstream into Island Park from the New Bridge on the Bryansford Road.
Following completion of preliminary site investigation and enabling works construction of the flood defences has commenced in Islands Park. Scheme construction is expected to take 12 months to complete.
Minister Mallon said:
"I was here in August 2020 and saw the devastation and destruction the flooding brought. I committed to working at pace and I am delighted to see progress on the ground with the delivery of the Pound 5.1 million Shimna River Flood Alleviation Scheme and meet the team behind this crucial project. Scheme construction is expected to take 12 months to complete. This work to provide enhanced flood protection will reduce flood risk for 312 homes and businesses in Newcastle.
"I committed during my time as Minister to taking action to protect homes and businesses from flooding and I have followed through on this commitment by allocating Pound 19 million in funding for flood alleviation schemes across the North in my 2021/22 budget, an increase of Pound 11 million from last year. The commencement of this Pound 5.1 million scheme in Newcastle is part of this and I look forward to seeing more schemes like this getting off the ground across the North that will make a real difference to people's lives."
The Minister concluded:
"I also would like to thank local residents and businesses for their continued patience and cooperation while these much needed works are carried out and ask that road users and pedestrians take care when travelling in the vicinity of the works."
All work is being carried out in line with current health and safety regulations, with safe systems of working in place for staff and contractors.