Sunday, January 22, 2023

 

By Suzanne Pender

FUNDING for Co Carlow’s roadwork increased from €5m in 2015 to just under €20m in 2022.

At last Monday’s meeting of Carlow County Council, acting senior engineer for roads and transportation Ray Wickham presented a review of 2022. His report outlined the various projects undertaken in 2022 across the road network, which amounted to a total spend of €19, 870,573.

The county has a road network of 1,329km, consisting of 24km of motorway, national secondary roads of 54km, and 1,251km of regional and local roads.

Mr Wickham stated that the council’s roads section was “fighting and making a good case for funding wherever we can” and highlighted that roads funding for the county was €5.1m in 2015, increasing to just under €20m in 2022.

Cllr Tommy Kinsella quipped that the roads section “must know the right people” and complimented them on their work, while cllr John McDonald also remarked on the “phenomenal work”, particularly with LISs (local improvement schemes), adding that a lot of laneways have now been completed.

Cllr Willie Quinn raised the issue of “bumps” or ripples appearing on roads, in particular a stretch of road in the south of the county, where they “go on for three-quarters of a mile … one after the other. You could easy lose control if you were in a tractor or a lorry”, added cllr Quinn.

Cllr Fintan Phelan raised the issue of footpaths, particularly within housing estates. Cllr Fergal Browne agreed, pointing to 110 housing estates in Carlow town that, if the council “don’t keep on top of the footpaths, there’ll be awful problems later on”.

Cllr Phelan also raised the prospect of having a second entrance into the large number of housing estates on the Tullow Road in Carlow.

“We need a second entrance into John Sweeney Park, The Laurels, Burrin Manor … one entrance only for hundreds of houses in not acceptable,” said cllr Phelan.

Cllr Fergal Browne said it was “ludicrous” that currently “nothing can be done” on the Browneshill Link Road because it’s being considered as a route for the outer relief road. “Everyone knows this will never be the route,” he added.

Cllr Michael Doran asked about the drainage of roads.

“I know that the drains on blackspots are cleared, but annually, if all the drains were cleared out and built into the annual roads programme, I think it would save us from huge issues on roads afterwards,” stated cllr Doran.

Cllr Ken Murnane said that the roads section was assisted significantly by deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor in securing that funding and “cannot not be acknowledged”. Cllr Arthur McDonald agreed, adding the deputy Murnane O’Connor was known for “pounding the corridors of Dáil Éireann”.

Cllr John Cassin raised the issue of the Athy Road, pointing out that the surface on the Carlow areas of the road was poor. “The Kildare side is like a motorway and the Carlow side is like a dirt track,” he argued.

Mr Wickham stated that a second entrance at the Tullow Road was mentioned in the county development plan and will be assessed, while the Athy Road will be examined.

He stated that poor drainage causes the ripple effect referred to by cllr Quinn, and efforts would be made to try to regrade the road.

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