Flooding at subway and Craigavon Bridge now being addressed

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Efforts to address flooding at two heavily utilised thoroughfares in Derry - the Lisnagelvin subway and the Craigavon Bridge - have been commended by local political representatives.

Both the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and the public water utility, NI Water, were involved in recent interventions to make the passages passable over recent days.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly said prompt action by DfI Roads to address flooding at the subway that serves the busy Waterside retail parks at Lisnagelvin at the weekend was greatly appreciated.

“This tunnel provides a safe way for pedestrian shoppers to visit both of the retail parks at Lisnagelvin,” he said.

“The heavy hail and rain on Saturday afternoon led to this busy walkway tunnel being flooded leaving shoppers unable to walk back through it with their groceries and other items.

“I also noticed parents with prams having to find an alternative way back to their car.

“Thankfully the NI Direct Flooding Helpline was able to assist and get DfI Roads personnel out to clear the drains and remove the blockages.

“Such prompt action was particularly welcome on a Saturday afternoon which would be the busiest day for these nearby businesses,” said Colr. Reilly.

Meanwhile, NI Water recently tasked its engineers to the Craigavon Bridge to address flooding issues on its lower deck.

Flooding closed the bottom section of the bridge for short periods on both Saturday, March 2, and Wednesday, March 6, in what appeared to be becoming a periodic problem.

A spokesperson for NI Water said: “On Wednesday, March 6, following heavy rain overnight, Craigavon Bridge, Lower Deck suffered flooding and had to be closed for a time to allow flood water to subside. NI Water are carrying out investigations and will meet with colleagues in the DfI to ascertain the cause of the flooding. This will form the basis of any recommendations that can be made to prevent a future occurrence of flooding at this location.”

SDLP Waterside Councillor Sinead McLaughlin said she welcomed the efforts to address the problem.

“This needs to be addressed because as you know when any of our bridges are closed for any period of time it has a complete richcohet effect,” she said.

Colr. McLaughlin claimed surface water flooding on footpaths on the upper deck of the bridge was a further problem that needed to be addressed but acknowledged DfI resources were limited.