Dublin City councillors have voted to spend €230,000 to reduce the height of a newly built sea wall so motorists can see Dublin Bay.
People cycling on the S2S two-way cycle path across from Bull Island are only separated from motorists by a low kerb.#
The city council report on the issue said that a review of the height of the wall came after “representations from members of the public who contended that the sea wall partially obscured the view of the South Bull Lagoon for motorists travelling on the roadway at the northern end of the scheme.”
Cllr Rebecca Moynihan (Labour Party) said that motorists should have their eyes on the road ahead of them and not the coast. While, one local councillor, Cllr Deirdre Heney (FF), denied that the view of motorists was the only reason behind the reduction, and that pedestrians on the inland footpath and wheelchair users would also benefit.
There was local cross-party and independent support for the reduction — with councillors arguing that the plan to reduce the wall was after a two year process of negotiation between the city and local residents.
At the council meeting tonight, local area councillors mostly spoke for reduction, while councillors from outside the area spoke against it. The vote to reduce the wall was carried by 34 votes to 21, with two abstaining.
Council officials said that the reduction in the coastal flooding defences means will not comply with national standards which looks to defend against a “1 in every 200 year” event. The lower height will only defend against a “1 in every 200 year” event and will mean revisiting the revisiting again within 10 to 30 years.
If the funding was not spent on reducing the wall it could be used for flooding defences elsewhere in the city.
The council report on the issue said: “The cost of the proposed works is estimated at €,000 – €230,000 to reduce the height of the sea wall and €300,000 for the cladding and copping etc. (The estimated costs include vat). If approved, the funding for the works will come from Development Levies that have been ring fenced for Flood Alleviation projects by the City Council.”
Councillors from other areas said that they had no problem spending the money on cladding the wall, but had a problem spending it on reducing the height of a sea wall to improve the view of motorists.
The council’s CEO, Owen Keegan, said that the management of the council could not recommend the reduction because it would not be in compliance with national standards.
Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour) asked who would be liable for damage if the lower level was breached. Officials said they did not know.