A MAJOR road resurfacing project by Cork County Council that cost €625,000 will most likely be ripped up again by Irish Water, The Southern Star has learned.
The resurfacing of Drimoleague’s main street went ahead in the knowledge that it will probably have to be ripped up to allow for major water works in the village.
Frustrated councillors said they couldn’t wait any longer for Irish Water to provide a date for their scheduled works, which might have allowed for both projects to be undertaken at the same time.
So the Council forged ahead with its resurfacing plan in the meantime.
Sinn Fein Cllr Paul Hayes told the Star that it had got to the stage where people were blaming the councillors for not taking action on the condition of the village’s potholed roads.
‘In fact, we had been holding out for the waterworks to be done first. But we couldn’t get any idea from Irish Water and that was extremely frustrating. We couldn’t find out if it would be this year, or in two, three, four or five years’ time,’ he said.
This lack of information, Cllr Hayes said, meant they couldn’t do the comprehensive job they would have liked.
‘We know that heavy machinery will be coming in the future, so we just took a foot off the road surface and re-laid that,’ said Cllr Hayes, who added that the price of the next resurfacing of the road will have to be built into the Irish Water contract.
There was no comment available from Irish Water regarding the Drimoleague works, despite repeated requests from The Southern Star over several weeks.
However, Irish Water did comment on fears expressed by members of the public and local representatives that the multi-million euro road resurfacing works in Leap would be ripped up, as part of the €28m Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme, which is due to start shortly.
To the relief of motorists who endured lengthy delays since work started last April and only ceased in recent weeks, Irish Water has insisted that the Leap surfacing will not be revisited.
The Skibbereen project is currently in the design phase, with works due to commence in the first quarter of this year and expected to take 18 months to complete.
As a result, approximately 7,000 people in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island will benefit from an improved drinking water quality and a more secure water supply, according to Irish Water.
An Irish Water spokesperson said: ‘The roadworks include the laying of a watermain. Irish Water does not envisage that this section [Leap] of the road will have works on it as part of the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme, apart from some localised excavation and tie-ins.’
The spokesperson continued: ‘Irish Water would also like to assure councillors that it is our intention to provide accurate and up-to-date responses to any queries raised by elected representatives, as quickly as possible.’
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