Rolling update - this one Feb 1st 2023 -
Following some video updates since October and no real reply to my last query in December, SDCC issued the following update today:
"Just to give you the most up to date situation regarding the Italian Embassy Wall.
"SDCC had appointed Roughan & O’Donovan to carry out the design of the new wall. The detailed design is now complete and is being reviewed by SDCC staff. If it is acceptable we will be passing this to the Italian Embassy staff and requesting that they progress with the repair of the wall as soon as possible.
"Separately SDCC have engaged with relevant utility companies and agreed all enabling works. This advanced engagement will save significant time on the overall time of the project."
I will update as further info becomes available. So far SDCC won't release the design report.
- Likely another year to go at least in this sorry saga -
At Tuesday's Area Committee meeting my motion was passed calling for a further update as well as the release of the consultant report on the repair works needed to fix the wall breach. This report was actually completed in February but had to be assessed by the Council.
I've attached it below for your convenience:
Preliminary design recommendations
According to the report, the recommended preliminary design solution would be "the construction of a new
wall supported on piles extending down through the glacial fine-grained till or into the
bedrock to reach the required resistance". In addition:
"No deep excavations beside the local road should take place due to limitations in the working space, the potential to cause further instability of the retaining wall and due to the live carriageways that would need to be kept in services.
"Granular fill should be placed to form a piling platform, enabling a suitable rig to install bored piles to reach rock (requirement for embedment subject to design). A pile-cap would be constructed on top to support the construction of a new replacement masonry wall built on top, tying into the wall at either end of the selected section.
"All drainage, services, footpath and carriageway surfacing should be renewed."
As you can see from the screenshot of my agenda reply below, at last Tuesday's Area Committee meeting my motion also asked for a date for repairs to commence and clarification that the ongoing safety issues for pedestrians at this location will not affect the provision of a safe pedestrian crossing into the upgraded Lucan Demesne entrance.
In response the Council said that detailed design for the repair of the wall is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of November.
However it also stated that "the construction commencement date will be dependent on the responsible party procuring a contractor and on the availability of this contractor to commence the works. It is not currently possible to give a date for this as it is beyond our control."
SDCC says that there are two elements to the work, a structural element that will construct a retaining wall, but also a conservation element, given its heritage value. As such, “the stone work will require a skilled craftsman”. The works themselves, as outlined in the report and the heritage aspect are likely to cost a substantial amount and that’s assuming a) the works will be funded by the Italian side and b) suitable available contractors can be found in a timely manner.
When pressed about an update on the projected cost – roughly estimated as being in the vicinity of €500,000 two years ago – the Council official said that it would be premature to give any other figure before the design works and tender have been scoped, but that they would share any figures when they had them.
The sense I got from my interaction with the Council spokesperson was that it would be optimistic to expect the works to be completed a year from now, but it is hard to predict anything with this issue.
On a positive note, I was also informed that the temporary pedestrian management at the wall collapse will not be an impediment to the construction of a new crossing at the entrance to Lucan Demesne.