Outrage in Tipperary over one mile stretch of road

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Outrage in Tipperary over one mile stretch of road thumbnailThe stretch of road leading into Templemore from the Roscrea side, which is causing considerable concern locally. MT28940DK

A SERIOUSLY dilapidated stretch of road between Roscrea and Templemore is causing serious upset among local people, who are outraged that no plans are in place to repair it.
The road, which has become so badly potholed and damaged for one mile on the approach to Templemore that it is on the verge of becoming unusable, is part of the national route N62 and local Councillors are dismayed that no plan to tackle the long-running problem is even on the horizon.
The issue is a long running one, with local representatives fighting for almost a decade to persuade TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland and formerly the National Roads Authority) to come to the rescue of motorists who are baffled at the road's extremely poor condition.
The road is so seriously damaged that heavy goods traffic and cars swerve to avoid sections where great chunks of tarmac are missing and are forced to crawl at a snail's pace over the potholes, which are in some cases up to 12-inches deep.
Because the route is a main road, traffic is always busy along the road which is the main route to Thurles, South Tipperary and Cork from the Offaly and North Tipperary regions and the road has become particularly infuriating for local motorists who are forced to daily travel over its damaged surface.
On the other side of Templemore town, where the N62 continues in the direction of Thurles and runs parallel to the Garda Training College, the surface has also become seriously dilapidated and traffic is forced to swerve to avoid deep and elongated potholes where the road surface has begun to crumble under the weight of heavy vehicles.
Templemore based Councillor Joe Bourke, who repeatedly highlights the public's frustration about the road and himself operates a transport business on the route, has the full support of his fellow eight Councillors on the Municipal Council for the area.
The nine Councillors for the District have echoed his pleas for the Council executive to make the road's urgent need for repairs a priority, as Councillor Bourke has strenuously reiterated the public's mounting anger at what they see as a Council issue misunderstanding the road is beyond the local authority's remit and the sole responsibility of TII.
Devoid of any storm-water drainage infrastructure since its creation, flooding is the main cause of the road's disintegration and years of small repairs in spots where the surface has fallen apart has created large indentations in the surface, causing heavy goods vehicles to shudder and lurch over as they negotiate the bumpy surface.
The latest update on the road's future is that refurbishment of the road would be a huge undertaking and cannot be tackled until at least next year, because the road has become damaged to its base foundations and would require a complete rebuild a simple resurfacing would soon unravel again.
The situation has become so serious in Templemore that last month Cllr Bourke pleaded for the local authority to carry out some temporary works, pleading that if the road is allowed to further deteriorate for another year the route will become unpassable.
Speaking to the Tribune this week, Cllr Bourke said he has attempted to take the issue to Cabinet Minister level and expressed the Templemore public's exasperation at the urgent works which are seemingly repeatedly ignored.
Cllr Bourke has personally raised the issue with the Deputy Leader of Fine Gael and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney and intends to contact him again in the coming weeks.
The TII doesn't see it as a priority at all and I can't understand it, Cllr Bourke said.
I rang Simon Coveney about it recently and the following week they sent some engineers down to look at it but what I'm told is that even if there was money in the morning to repair the road they wouldn't be able to do it, because it needs drainage, paths everything has to be redone, Cllr Bourke said.
At least 5,000 vehicles use that road every day and its lined with houses and its the major thoroughfare for traffic going south-west to Cork and Waterford and it just baffles me how its ignored and left to fall apart like it is.
We wouldn't mind holding out if it meant it would be done properly, but it's going on for so long now and local people have had enough, it needs sorting out urgently, Cllr Bourke said.
At meetings of the Municipal Council for the area Cllr Bourke has repeatedly tabled notices of motions and attempted to voice the public's frustration and last month heard that no plans are in place to start working on the road.
Cllr John Hogan, a member of the Municipal Council for the Templemore and Roscrea areas, highlighted how his colleague's pleas for the issue to made a priority and said it's not fair Cllr Bourke has to keep raising it month after month and year after year.
The public need to know what's happening the road is scandalous, Cllr Hogan told the meeting.
These sentiments were echoed by Cllr Michael Smith who questioned how the TII are missing it all the time and why the issue is not a priority when it is clearly very urgent, he said.
The Director of Services for the Municipal Council, Matt Shortt, said the job is a complex one and not as simple as putting down an overlay.
Mr Shortt said the foundation of the road has become so damaged that remedial works would require digging out the foundations, installing new drainage infrastructure and creating new pedestrian footpaths on both sides.
The Roscrea side is very complicated and work on designing how the drainage system will work is underway. I think it will be on next year's work programme and is too big a job to start this year and is not ready for repair it has to be done properly and will take time.
The section on the other side of the town is not as complex, but the road surface there has also become very bad and will require a major resurfacing, Mr Shortt said.
Meanwhile, Cllr Bourke says he intends to keep fighting until the job is done.
I think they're starting to get sick of me constantly raising it, but we will stick at it until the job is done. Roads in Thurles and Roscrea have been done recently and its only fair the people of Templemore get looked after, he said.


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