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‘Deeply rutted’ road set to get emergency cash

March 2nd, 2024 10:00 AM

By Jackie Keogh

‘Deeply rutted’ road set to get emergency cash Image
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) on what some people refer to as the lunar landscape at Skibbereen’s Cork Rd.

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ONE of the most damaging parts of the N71 for cars – which is located in Skibbereen – is to be given a temporary new surface.

After three years of solid campaigning, Cllr Joe Carroll said he was delighted to hear that emergency funding is being sought by Cork County Council from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for work on the Cork Road at the edge of Skibbereen town.

Although TII’s emergency fund is capped at €50,000, Cllr Carroll said it should be enough to resurface, and tarmac, the worst 100m of the road. Cllr Carroll said it is important to thank the local engineering staff, particularly John Ahern, because this stretch of roadway is the responsibility of TII, and not the local authority.

The councillor said TII had steadfastly refused to do anything because a drainage issue – which is part of the town’s flood relief works – is the subject of ongoing litigation. ‘Myself and my colleagues in the West Cork Municipal District had repeatedly warned the Council that litigation could take years to resolve and we pleaded with them to resurface the road,’ he said.

Cllr Carroll said Council engineers, officials and councillors got ‘a lot of grief over this issue’ because the road surface was so bad it would rattle people’s bones while driving.

‘Every time I went into Paul Connolly’s shop at Spar on the Cork Road, I would get accosted by customers who’d throw their eyes up to heaven and ask why something couldn’t be done to resolve the problem,’ he said.

‘This is certainly the most damaging part of the N71 for cars – if you had to drive up and down that stretch of the road every week your car wouldn’t last long,’ he added.

Because the road is so bad, emergency funding is likely to be approved in the next couple of weeks, with work is scheduled to take place in early March. ‘It is badly needed,’ Paul Connolly told The Southern Star. ‘The middle part of the road is so deeply rutted with craters it looks like the surface of the moon.’

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