Portarlington, Mountmellick, Clonaslee and Mountrath are among the Laois towns where plans for flood defences have progressed slightly, in an update given by Laois County Council.
Design consultants have been approved by the Office of Public Works for Portarlington's works and the council has now issued a letter of intent to the recommended tenderer.
“Design to commence in July 2020,” the council said in their report to the May meeting.
The scheme is expected to now cost over initial estimate of €5.6 million.
It is six months behind Mountmellick, the only other Laois town in the top 50 selected for extensive flood relief schemes in the National Development Plan to 2040.
In Mountmellick data collection and design work will continue until March 2021.
Then a planning application for the preferred scheme will be lodged to An Bord Pleanála.
The scheme is expected to exceed an initial cost estimate of €3.2m and to be built by 2023.
The Clonaslee Flood Relief Scheme is about to start design stage also. A tender was issued recently to appoint consultants. The council intends to appoint a consultant this month.
Mountrath had failed to qualify for a scheme after a cost benefit study. However the OPW is now doing a new detailed assessment. It is one of only five locations nationally to be approved for re-assessment.
Meanwhile the council applied to the OPW to fund minor works in Shannon Street.
Cllr James Kelly welcomed the second look at Mountrath.
“I am delighted that Mountrath is one of five approved for a new assessment. We've been waiting a long time. A lot of assessments are held up with red tape,” he said.
Rathdowney is in the top 118 schemes to be funded. A project for it has to wait until a second or later tranche of funding.
Minor works assessments are underway for Clonterry, Cloncannon Upper and Lower, Cloneygowan, Cloncough, Kilbricken and Inchycooley.