RESURFACING works in Leap won’t be completed until the end of next January at the very earliest – five months later than the original deadline and a full nine months after they started.
And works on the N71 east of Clonakilty – which were to be finished last week – don’t now look set to finish until next February.
Of the almost 3km stretch of road through Leap village that is being resurfaced, only 1.3km has been completed since work began last April.
Motorists who have to travel through the village have endured lengthy delays as a result of two stop/go systems since then, while businesses have had access to their premises curtailed at times. At times traffic can be stalled for as little as a few minutes – but frequently, and at peak times, that extends to 10 minutes and longer.
Explaining the delay a Council spokesperson said: ‘The current completion date is the end of January 2019 but this is subject to a review pending a revised works programme from contractor and weather permitting.
‘The reason for the extension of the contract is due to additional works being carried out. Drainage had to be replaced for almost the entire length of the village and ground conditions were extremely poor so deep excavations had to be carried out to ensure good quality road construction on completion.’
The works, which are being carried out by McSweeney Bros Contracts Ltd, include the laying of a new road surface, new footpaths and drainage works.
The Council declined to disclose the cost of the project for ‘commercial reasons’. However, it’s part of an overall €9m scheme comprising three major roadworks taking place on the N71 between Clonakilty and Skibbereen.
One of these schemes includes the upgrading of the N71 east of Clonakilty which road signs say was due to finish on November 23rd.
Local FF Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan has highlighted the delay on social media and said he had spoken with the area engineer for a new estimated finish date.
‘I understand that may now be sometime in February. I will also be requesting a full status and progress report from the contractor and seeking information as to why it has been delayed,’ he said.
One person commented after his post: ‘The Romans built roads faster than this. That’s seven months to do two miles of road.’
Another said: ‘Leap is a disgrace. You’d think it was the M25, it’s taking them so long.’