The sewerage infrastructure development at Castle Park in Bangor is the latest addition to the This is Civil Engineering campaign. The campaign, which sees huge banners displayed on infrastructure projects, aims to show the public the link between the work taking place and the benefit to the local community.
The £3 million works at Castle Park include the replacement of the existing pumping station, which had been constructed pre-1970s. Besides being unsightly, the previous station also had severely restricted access for maintenance works. The new replacement station will blend subtly into the existing natural environment, as well as provide an efficient, modern facility that adheres to NI Water's Asset Standards.
The project will also benefit the tourism industry in Bangor, which boasts two yacht clubs and the Bangor Marina -- one of the largest in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
"The improvement to water quality from this project enhances and protects the local aquatic environment, helping to create the conditions to attract tourism and investment in the town," said David McGrath, Senior Project Manager for NI Water.
He added: "Limiting the visual impact of the station enhances the local parkland in which it is situated."
The project also has a major archaeological element. A portion of the site is within the bounds of the site of Bangor Abbey, regarded as one of the most important of the early Northern Irish monastic sites. Founded by Saint Comgall in 558 AD and subject to destruction by various Viking raids, the abbey was partially rebuilt by Saint Malachy in the 12th Century.
The incoming sewers to the replacement pumping station run parallel to Saint Malachy's Wall, and the numerous archaeological features have been discovered – including a burial site of human remains, perhaps of the abbey's monks.
"This exciting project shows the myriad benefits that civil engineering brings – sometimes unexpected ones, like historical discoveries," said Richard Kirk, ICE Regional Director. "When finished, these works will also protect the environment, sustain the economy and bring greater quality of life to people in Bangor."