Six weeks of traffic chaos in store for Fermoy


Six weeks of traffic chaos in store for Fermoy

A dire warning of ‘six weeks traffic chaos’ has been issued at Monday’s Electoral Area Committee meeting.

Thursday, 17 January 2013
12:00 AM GMT

Motorists in Fermoy are facing six weeks of traffic chaos as substantial drainage works on the Courthouse Road are being combined with the repair of a large section of the water main. The dire warning was issued at Monday’s Electoral Area Committee meeting by area engineer Brendan O’Gorman who forecast that the town’s traffic ‘will be in chaos while this is being done’.

He said that it was hoped to put a ‘stop/go’ system in place, keeping one lane open rather than closing one of the town’s main arteries.

A much longer length of water main is now being replaced, a 915 metre stretch, instead of the originally proposed 300 metre section. Major drainage works, part of the flood relief scheme, are being carried out in tandem with the water works. The area affected will stretch from the Richmond Hill junction down past the community hospital. The news is likely to dismay local retailers and business owners as well as motorists who use the busy route daily to access and exit the town.

The reason the work will not now start until late February/early March is to allow the works to be properly scheduled and advance notification given to those affected. The Engineer reminded members of the criticism levelled against the County Council in relation to the N72 Ballyhooly to Fermoy road works about a lack of advance consultation and information. Saying that Lagan Construction, the contractors for the €150,000 water main repair job, had committed to the works that morning, the engineer said he didn’t expect the start date for the works to change.

“I’m very disappointed about this,” Councillor Noel McCarthy said. “We were told at our December meeting the (water main) work would be done in January. Then it was February. Now this. I’m frustrated, it’s going on since last October.” Explaining  that the hospital’s back up supply, when there’s a break, is a non drinking water supply, he pointed out that a business premises also affected by the numerous breaks was facilitated with its own supply. “Let’s get it into perspective, a local business was facilitated, why not the hospital?” he said, pointing out that there were numerous breaks before Christmas. “We must look after the people in the hospital,” he stressed. The engineer said it was a matter for the county council’s water department and he would write to them about it.

Councillor Kevin O’Keefe said they should be delighted to have secured the €150,000 funding to get the water main repaired. He did agree however that it would cause difficulties. “The disruption it’s going to cause will be unreal,” he forecast. It would be important to minimise the disruption, he added, saying “a leak can be fixed but a business cannot be reopened.” “There’s going to be major repercussions for a lot of people arising out of this,” Committee Chairman Frank O’Flynn warned.

The engineer explained that SuperValu had two pressure pipes and they were able to change them over from one to the other to prevent them from suffering breaks but the hospital has only one pressure pipe so the same can’t be done there.

It was agreed to invite Water Services Senior Engineer Robert O’Farrell and the OPW’s Joe Barry to attend their next meeting to discuss their concerns.

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