REPAIR work on roads and bridges which were damaged in the Glenelly Valley during the devastating floods of August 2017 has now been completed at a cost of almost £500,000.
The Department for Infrastructure has confirmed it has spent £300,000 on the repair of the roads alone, and a further £160,000 fixing 11 of the 14 bridges that were damaged.
Details of the costs were revealed in a letter to the West Tyrone MLA, Daniel McCrossan.
In a response, the DFI’s head of departmental co-ordination unit, Robert Crawford, said that since August 2017, the department has undertaken extensive remedial and repair work in the area to return the road network to a ‘serviceable condition’.
“Works included the removal of material and debris deposited on roads as a result of landslides, reinstatement of sections of road which had been washed away, repairs to culverts and drainage systems and reinstatement of road verges eroded by flood water,” he said.
“Repair work will recommence on the three remaining bridges once in-river working restrictions are lifted at the end of April.
“The cost of repairing these three bridges is estimated to be in the region of £50,000 and I would confirm that funding is available for these works.”
The progress on repairing the roads and the bridge works has been welcomed by SDLP election candidate, Steven Edwards. He, however, has called for more preventative measures to be put in place.
“Having visited local farmers, it remains clear that much more work is needed to prevent future flooding along the valley,” he said.
Emergency funding pack
“There is also a great need to push through an emergency funding package to compensate those who lost livestock and received damage to their properties in the flooding.
“But I welcome the fact that the department has the vast majority of remedial work done, and the fact that roads have been repaired along with the majority of bridges. Many people and farmers were left stranded and cut off as a result of the flooding which devastated the area.”