THE Caha Pass tunnel will close to traffic next month cutting off direct access between Glengarriff and Kenmare for 10 weeks.
One diversion put in place by Kerry County Council will bring drivers back into Castletownbere – a journey of 85kms – which will take well over an hour, compared to the current 25 minutes. A second, and just as onerous option, takes motorists through Kealkil and Ballyvourney – which itself is 53km from Glengarriff.
Kerry County Council said the closure from October 5th to December 14th is to ‘facilitiate repairs and maintenance work.’
The notice prompted Cork comedian Colm O’Regan to tweet: ‘I have a feeling the Beara Peninsula may not hit its climate change targets this year.’
Another person posted on social media: ‘Most locals will do Priests Leap Road or Healy Pass, depending how brave a driver they are!’
Manager of Eccles Hotel David Manning called the closure ‘insane.’ ‘This will cause major upheaval for our staff and guests at a time when we’re trying to extend the summer season.’ The route was also subject to closures in 2019 as part of a €2.2m resurfacing project. ‘Why couldn’t all the work have been done then?’ David asked.
Independent TD Michael Collins said that night time closures should be considered to carry out the works.