1 October 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Cork County Council has signed a contract with TJ O’Connor & Associates, Consulting Engineers to carry out Design Consultancy Services for remediation works to the existing Weir in Fermoy and to construct a new permanent Fish Bypass Channel on the north bank of the River Blackwater.
These contracts will enable the preparation of detailed design proposals which are required in order to advance the project to the next stage. The proposals will then be subject to planning consideration and approval. The design will include a new fish pass, as per requirements specified by Inland Fisheries Ireland and EU Directives.
The Consultant will carry out technical and management services for the advancement of this project through Preliminary Design Stage Services to Detailed Design. This will include the completion of the necessary planning and all other statutory processes. It is expected that this contract will run for 18 months.
The value of this contract is €344,400 including VAT, and is jointly funded by Cork County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
TJ O’Connor & Associates will also be responsible for the preparation of contract documents for the procurement of a works contractor to construct the project. Following the completion of this contract the next stage for the Council will be to procure a contractor to carry out the construction works, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2021.
Commenting on the signing, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan noted the importance of this step, “Cork County Council has been actively pursuing various government departments over a period of time to secure funding for capital works on Fermoy Weir. We continue to lead efforts in securing funding for the subsequent capital construction costs with provisional costs estimated at €1.34M for repairs to the Weir and Fish ladder and €1.7M for the construction of a New Fish Bypass.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how the Council is working as quickly as possible on the repair of Fermoy Weir, “There are statutory and regulatory obligations that Cork County Council must comply with, such as the securing of planning permission. This will be followed by a public procurement process to secure a successful contractor. A range of statutory legal consents will be required from various agencies due to the fact that the weir is a protected structure, that the works involve working in a river and the fact that the works are located in an Office of Public Works flood relief area. This will all take time but Cork County Council must follow due process and meet its legal obligations. However, this is a major first step and I am confident that this is the first of many positives for Fermoy Weir.”