Protest has cost council €419,000

A breakdown of costs of €419,000 associated with the protest against the construction of the Central Access Scheme bridge were outlined to members of Kilkenny County Council on Monday.

A breakdown of costs of €419,000 associated with the protest against the construction of the Central Access Scheme bridge were outlined to members of Kilkenny County Council on Monday.

Cathaoirleach Pat Millea remarked how members were concerned over how the costs had escalated and had sought a detailed breakdown from Senior Engineer, Simon Walton.

Mr Walton outlined how standing time costs associated with the prevention of construction materials deliveries to the site accounted for €57,000. The standing time costs associated with the temporary piling rig, main piling rig, and the crane totalled €38,000 while the requirement to purchase temporary sheet piles for the eastern bank of the river in lieu of short term hire as a result of programme delays associated with disruptive protests totalled €142,000. A further €33,000 was required for the redesign of a temporary sheet enclosure on the west bank to overcome in-river prevention of temporary sheet piling operations.

Other costs incurred included a flood risk assessment for the in river platform during the winter months (€5,000) and the commission of a bridge scale model (€5,000).

The site boundary extension, which was put in place last week ‘to mitigate public safety risks and to facilitate on site works’ was €52,000.

A further €42,000 was spent on the provision of site security and additional contractor personnel to assist in the accessing of delivery vehicles to the site and to address the level of risk posed to the contract arising from the protests.

Technical reports and other ancillary costs, including legal costs amount to €45,000.

Mr Walton also informed members that if protests continued as they had for the first eight to nine weeks for the duration of the project the total associated cost would amount to €1.982 million.

Cathaoirleach Pat Millea said that the ‘only good thing that came out of this is that no one was hurt or injured’.

The costs of deploying gardai to the site was a matter for An Garda Siochana and was not including in the costings.

Cllr David Kennedy (Sinn Fein) queries the security costs and was told by Mr Walton that at times there was in excess of 12 security staff at the site.

“An Garda Siochana made a request that there be a substantial level of security to protect the property of the site.” said Mr Walton.

Cllr Kennedy described the security costs as ‘colossol’ while Cllr Breda Gardner (Ind) said the costs were ‘very extravagant’.