MP visits phase two of new Cumnock flood protection scheme
Allan Dorans MP visited Phase 2 of New Cumnock’s £8.97 million flood protection works recently to receive an update from the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and the main contractor, Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd.
Mr Dorans was joined onsite by Councillor Neal Ingram, cabinet spokesperson for community safety, roads and transportation and community cohesion, Councillor Maureen McKay, leader of the Labour Opposition Group, Councillor Neill Watts, depute leader of the Conservative Opposition Group and Kevin Braidwood, head of roads, Ayrshire Roads Alliance.
They received an update on the extensive project, which started in May 2021 and which is already protecting residential and commercial properties near the Afton Water and River Nith. The works include a combination of engineering measures including 900m of earth embankments, 1200m of reinforced concrete walls and 600m of riverbank strengthening.
Phase two of the project, due to the extensive and complex nature of the work, has been split into six main work areas -South of Afton Bridgend; both sides of the river north of Afton Bridgend; the car park area at the shops; reinforcement of embankments within the scope of the scheme, which has been completed; the wall to the rear of Miller Road, which has been completed and the clearing of trees and protection of the riverbank at Castlemains Farm.
The original plan was for each phase to be completed in order however the worldwide materials shortage experienced last summer had an impact on the project with work being reorganised, where possible, and some phases being completed earlier than scheduled. The shortage of concrete, in particular, has led to an inevitable delay and it is anticipated that the scheme will be fully completed by February 2023, just two months behind schedule.
Councillor Neal Ingram said: “It was great to welcome Allan Dorans, MP to New Cumnock and to receive a detailed update on phase two of New Cumnock’s £8.97m flood protection scheme from the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and our main contractor. This scheme is so extensive that it is one of the only handful in the whole country that is modelled on a one in two hundred year, plus climate change, flooding event.
“Phase 1 of the scheme that was completed at the Leggate is already offering protection to the residents there. While SEPA, in conjunction with the scheme, has being doing improvements on the River Nith, with their embankment setback works and this has already increased storage capacity in the Nith so that it is already dropping levels in the Afton Water during rainfall events prior to the scheme being fully completed.
“No one would ever want to see a repeat of the devastating floods of 2013 and 2015 or the heartbreak it brought to so many good people. This extensive scheme will help to protect the village from the devastation of flooding and will bring security to the local community. It will also mean that local residents and businesses will be in a position to purchase building insurance, which really is life-changing.”
Allan Dorans, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, added: “I was delighted to receive a comprehensive briefing on the progress of the New Cumnock flood protection scheme this week from the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and the main contractors Wills Bros.
“The work has been a challenging civil engineering project which has successfully overcome a number of significant obstacles including the requirement to divert a major gas main and other utilities.
“My thanks to the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and Wills Bros for the progress to date and I look forward to the successful completion of the project early next year.”