1.

SHANNON SUPERHIGHWAY

An Infrastructural Concept for the River Shannon.  

Includes: Flood Control, Navigation and potential for Development, Job-Creation, Enterprise etc. on a scale never before envisaged in such detail.

CONCEPT OUTLINE

The River Shannon has been used by our ancestors to access central Ireland, since well before the time of the Vikings. At 360 kilometers long, it is the largest river in these Islands and, flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean with its many international trading routes.

Ross's Concept revives the Shannon's use as a Superhighway and, transforms it into an integral part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) North Sea/Mediterranean economic Corridor.

It solves the flooding problem. Promotes economic growth in both Agriculture and Tourism. Provides renewable energy and energy storage. It also creates fresh water storage for 18 million people.

Ross believes that some of the ideas, if implemented, will breath fresh life into a long-neglected and unexploited part of Ireland. The construction of navigable waterways, canals and railways during the 18th and 19th centuries, created a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The economic principle remains the same today - lack of political vision and will for change, remain the primary obstacles to implementation.

Catastrophic Shannon flooding events...... are a disaster waiting to happen!

They have been well-signposted by environmental experts and pose an unacceptable risk to life!

Ross explains how the River's discharge capacity is artificially restricted at Parteen and Ardnacrusha.  Patchwork solutions are long proven to be ineffective. 

1.3. Flood Canals Proposals
1.4. Clare Canal
1.5. Offaly Canal
1.6. Galway Canal

Ross's Flood Canal Proposals, are designed to increased floodwater discharge by a minimum 1,000 m3/sec. This target is achieved by constructing 3 short flood canals with a total length of circa 21 kilometers. Ancillary dredging, weir, sluice dam, bridge works, locks etc. are to be provided as indicated on plan. Economic justification for the canals is achieved through long-term commercial inland navigation use and, charges for this use. Tiered rezoning charges for adjacent lands, are a further revenue source.

Trade is essential for growth and, political events threaten Ireland's trade with and via Britain. Ross's Conceptual Solution provides for a Shannon Navigation to EU Inland Waterways Class Va shipping standard. It significantly strengthens Ireland's Regional Development and direct links with Europe. Ships, barges and cruise vessels up to 3,000 tonnes, will be able to access the River System as far as Lanesborough.

The increasing dominance of Dublin as the economic powerhouse of Ireland, creates a prosperity imbalance in the rest of the country. Ross's Conceptual Solution allows for the expansion of Athlone into an economically thriving city, by providing a 100 ha Port and Commercial Zone and a new transportation by-pass. Extensive re-zoning of existing floodplain lands allows for; residential, commercial, educational, medical and parkland expansion and development etc.

Farmers will have a competitive new export/import route for produce, via environmentally friendly superhighway barge transportation. One barge load = 85 truck loads! Ross envisages that farm profitability, compromised by Brexit, will significantly benefit and, 50,000 hectares of marginal farmland subject to regular flooding, will be reclaimed.

The historic Early Christian heritage of the Shannon, is unsurpassed. The river cruise boat industry, the fastest growing sector of the Tourist Market, will give access to this heritage. Ross's Concept allows marine and inland cruise vessels to operate on the Shannon, to an extent never before envisaged. "Ireland's Hidden Heartlands" will no longer be hidden!

Consumerism and rapid world population increase, are having a devastating impact on the natural environment. Planned land use is essential for sustainable economic growth, Ross's Conceptual Solution is designed to minimize environmental damage and enhance the natural environment where possible through sensitive forward planning.

Safe drinking water is at the core of sustainable development and human survival itself. According to the World Health Organisation, 2.1 billion people already lack safe drinking water and the problem is getting worse! Ross's Proposal is for a Shannon Estuary Reservoir with the capacity to provide 18 million people, each with 100 litres of fresh water per day.

Surge tide flooding risk to Limerick and Cork, has increased significantly due to climate change. Ross's Conceptual Solution proposes Tidal Barrages across, both the Shannon Estuary and Cork Harbour. The barrages are primarily designed to protect lives and property. They can also be used as fresh water reservoirs, hydro power generation and, have energy storage and leisure potential.

The Grand Canal and the Royal Canal link the Shannon with Dublin. Ross's Concepts include provision for a 3rd much larger canal. This Shipping Canal is designed to link the Shannon with a proposed deep water East Coast Superport, located at the mouth of the Rogerstown Estuary in County Dublin.

Ireland lacks an East Coast Deep-Sea Port capable of accommodating the newer classes of container ship. Ross chooses a North County Dublin site for a Deep-Water Port and links this by Ship Canal to the Shannon Navigation.

Population of Greater Dublin can be expected to grow to 5 or 7 million in the next 100 years. Fundamental reform of the moribund political system is now urgent as the legislative changes necessary to cope with the pace of expansion have yet to be implemented. Plans indicate how an orbital transportation and communications corridor can help future development.

Galway City has expanded rapidly in recent years, albeit in a fragmented manner. Urban sprawl leads to traffic chaos and repeat flooding around the harbour area creates regular economic loss.

Ross's Preliminary Concept for the City includes new Development Zones serviced by twin track railway. Proposals are also made for a flood barrier to protect the city from surge tides.

Intermittent energy sources and increased consumption are creating a demand for energy storage. Ross's Concepts, include low-head hydro turbines fitted to the Shannon and Cork Tidal barrages. Ross also has conceptual design proposals for economically viable 220MWh and 1000MWh seawater pumped energy storage stations located away from the Shannon. (See Bray Head PHES etc). The Navigation will allow barges to supply eco-fuel to existing Power Stations. Eco-fuel exports will become economically viable.

Trying to create infrastructural change is a process still controlled by men. Ross believes that women who comprise 51% of the population should at least have an equal share in political power and decision  making.  

The Magnificent Cork Harbour is strategically located on a major international sea-trading route. The graphics illustrate how how this Harbour has the potential to become a major European City with a sustainable population of 2 million people or more.

The Artworks illustrated on this website are Shannon related. More artworks by Ross Eccles may be viewed on the rosseccles.com website.

© Ross Eccles - Infrastructural Concept Designer, Artist, Architect