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Firm 'should foot flooding bill'

The builder of a Belfast underpass which flooded during torrential rain last year should be made to foot the bill for damage caused to the structure, Northern Ireland’s government spending watchdog said last week.

The report said the Northern Ireland Department for Regional Development should recoup money from the consortium responsible for the project whether a design weakness was identified or not.

“It is important that any costs incurred by the Department and Roads Service in dealing with or as a result of the flooding incident are identified and recouped from the consortium,” says the report.

“Similar costs incurred by the other public sector organisations, for example costs to emergency services, should be identified by those organisations and the potential to recoup those costs should also be investigated.”

Westlink builder Highway Management Construction said a design fault was not to blame for the flooding, pointing instead to the unusual condition which saw a month’s rain fall in 12 hours.

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