Erne Canal Technical Assessment, Co. Donegal

Doran Consulting was commissioned by Donegal County Council to prepare a technical study for the existing Erne River in the Belleek/ Ballyshannon area to quantify the technical, environmental and cost issues likely to arise in the canal-maritime link from Lower Lough Erne to the Atlantic Ocean. The report considered several issues includng the history and current situation of the river, the hydrology and soil conditions, an identification of obstacles along the route with several design options and associated costs to bypass these obstacles.

Design options included several different structures including bascule lifting bridges, large lock structures, boat lifting structures, divisionary canals, transverse and longitudinal inclined planes and an aqueduct. Three sets of recommendations were made within the report, dependant on whether access of marine vessels or inland vessels to Ballyshannon was required, or whether full access of both marine and inland vessels from Upper Lough Erne to the Atlantic was the desirable outcome. Methodology was then identified to enable the project to be brought through the stages of design and build.