Work on the phase three of the Letterkenny Sewerage Scheme began in 2018
Councillors in Letterkenny have expressed anger amid fears that a sewer laid as part of the Letterkenny sewerage scheme has sunk meaning the completion of the work will be delayed by months.
Work has stopped on the project on Joe Bonnar Road and local councillors have called for a meeting with Irish Water and Donegal County Council to get answers on the project. One councillor told February meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District that the sewer had sunk.
Irish Water said on its website site “that approximately 240 metres of sewer will have to be replaced following significant issues at Joe Bonnar Road”.
The utility said it is reviewing design proposals but it is not envisaged the contractor will be in a position to start any earlier than April.
The issue was discussed in an emergency motion at the meeting on Friday where Cllr Donal Coyle (FF) called on Irish Water to give a detailed explanation of why the work has stopped.
Cllr Coyle, who brought the emergency motion, said he is aware that the work has stopped because “the pipes have failed”.
He said he has not been able to get answers to who is responsible.
The work was to be finished at Christmas but it has not resumed, he added.
He said he received a letter from Irish Water saying it had been informed of issues by the contractor at the end of November. The contractor has submitted a report and this is being reviewed but a section of the pipe on Joe Bonar Road will have to be replaced, the letter said. The work is expected to be completed by June.
Cllr Coyle said councillors still do not know what had happened, why it had happened and whether it could happen in other parts of the town where work has been carried out on the scheme.
“Something has happened and we don’t know what it is and who is responsible,” he said.
Cllr Michael McBride (Ind) said it is not acceptable that councillors have not been informed by Irish Water or the council.
He said the project needs to be revisited and money needs to be found to finish the project properly.
Cllr Ciaran Brogan (FF) said “something has gone badly wrong here”. He said the sewer had sunk and a special meeting is now needed “with all the stakeholders” as well as a full report.
“It's no wonder that business people are frustrated,” he said.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle (SF) supported the idea of the meeting.
“We need to know all the answers,” he said.
Cllr Coyle said he is worried about legal complications.
“It there are legal complications, God knows when this work will be completed. When will they be able to get back to work and when will there be a date for completion?”
The work at Joe Bonnar Road is part of the €5.6m third phase of the Letterkenny sewerage scheme which began in 2018. The scheme has involved work at locations throughout the town and has brought major traffic disruption at times.
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