Luas Cross City work may have flooded city businesses
Some establishments have sought compensation over disruption to their trade
Luas Cross City work has allegedly caused flood damage to some Georgian-era cellars. File photograph: Aidan Crawley
Dublin city centre business owners may be entitled to thousands of euro in compensation after Luas Cross City work allegedly caused extensive flood damage to some Georgian-era cellars.
Some commercial and residential premises in the north and south of the city have been hit with significant water ingress in recent months allegedly as a result of preparatory works for the installation of additional light-rail tracks along busy streets.
A spokeswoman for Luas Cross City confirmed that it had received legal submissions calling for compensation. However, any settlements for damages incurred would have to be paid by the relevant contractor responsible for any offending works.
Correspondence seen by The Irish Times shows that over an eight-month period in 2014 and 2015 the Parnell Heritage Bar complained of flooding related to nearby construction activities four times, while numerous business owners on Dawson Street have condemned Luas Cross City for alleged disruption to trade.
StockroomA representative from Scandinavian retailer Tiger’s Nassau Street store complained of “considerable damage” caused to its stockroom in April; management of Trinity College said flooding at its main gate was causing pedestrians to “walk onto the roadway into incoming traffic”; and a software firm also on Nassau Street detailed an “emergency situation” caused by flooding in April.
“Pipes burst on Dawson Street and our elevators were flooded; we had a real concern for the welfare of our staff. One of our members of staff was in the lift at the time when going down to the basement to have a cigarette and water came into the lift while he was in it,” read an email from New Relic International.
Responding to queries, a spokeswoman for Luas Cross City said many of the afflicted spaces were Georgian basements from the 18th and 19th centuries which were constructed from brick and stone, and were “prone to dampness and poor repair”.
ComplaintsA number of high-profile city centre establishments have been vociferous in their criticism of how certain elements of the project have been conducted, and the alleged impact on trade. Fire Restaurant at the Mansion House, the Porterhouse, Café en Seine, the Ambassador Theatre, the Westin hotel, New Ireland Assurance and Penneys have all lodged complaints.
In 2004 some traders on Harcourt Street lodged High Court proceedings as a result of a reduction in clientele allegedly caused by work on the new Green Line, and sources have confirmed that settlements were paid to over a dozen complainants. In recent days traders in affected areas said there had been a “squeeze” on their businesses as a result of the disruptions.
Dublin Town chief executive Richard Guiney said last month the works had had no substantial impact on city centre footfall.