WORK on a £12 million sea defence wall in Mumbles could start by spring next year.
The 1km wall between Oystermouth Square and the slipway at Knab Rock is designed to protect around 120 properties from flooding.
The current seawall is in poor condition because of its age, according to Swansea Council.
Cllr Mark Thomas, who has the environment portfolio, told a scrutiny panel that the scheme was well-supported locally but would undergo further consultation.
He said the Welsh Government-funded project was expected to cost around £12 million.
Cllr Thomas had been asked about the seawall, and how other foreshore areas might be protected from rising sea levels, during a discussion about flood risk management.
Councillors were told Mumbles was the highest risk area for coastal flooding, but that a scheme to offer further protection for the riverside area by Sainsbury’s, Quay Parade, could at some point be explored.
New flood risk maps for Wales were published last month which place St Helen’s rugby and cricket ground, the adjacent recreation ground, and some of nearby Gorse Lane and St Helen’s Avenue in a coastal flood zone. A part of Trawler Road, Swansea Marina, and a small section of both Langdon Road, SA1, and Fabian Way are also included.
A more substantial area of the marina, extending west into Sandfields, is in a river flood zone.
Stuart Davies, head of highways and transportation, said the Mumbles seawall would allow further work along the seafront to take place.
“It’s a really exciting scheme,” he said.
If all went to plan, Mr Davies said spades could be in the ground by the end of this financial year on March 31.
Deborah Hill, from the council’s conservation team, said some flood protection was possible working with nature, such as the marram grass sand dunes created just to the west of the Civic Centre, and tree-planting in upstream river catchment areas.
Mr Davies said the intensity of rainfall these days was sometimes too much for the drainage network.
“There will be occasions where drains will be completely overwhelmed,” he said.
Cllr Thomas said cleared culvert grids could be covered with debris within hours during a storm.
The council has received £414,000 from the Welsh Government to draw up potential flood schemes for Killay Square, Killay, West Street in Gorseinon, Llys Ddol in Morriston, and Capel Road and Kingrosia Park in Clydach.
Meanwhile, 35 road drain schemes have been completed in Swansea this year.
The council’s relatively small flood risk management team has two vacancies, with interviews for one of them starting shortly.
The other more technical post is proving harder to fill.
“It’s a real challenge recruiting technical staff,” said Mr Davies.