WEST Cork’s N71, the main artery into the region, is to get a €6m facelift this year.
Cork County Council’s director of roads, Padraig Barrett, announced that €3.5m has been secured from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for three resurfacing works and that a fourth €2.5m project, which is already in the works, will be completed by the end of May.
A stretch of the Glengarriff Road and a section of the approach to Bandon from Cork, are among the routes earmarked for major investment.
‘That’s a significant investment,’ said the director, who confirmed that €2m is to be spent on resurfacing the road from the vicinity of the Chip Van corner in as far as Kevin O’Leary’s garage in Bandon.
A further €800,000 is to be spent on upgrading the Glengarriff Road from Bantry to Donemark – a particularly bad section of road that has been on the Council’s agenda for years.
Mr Barrett said the Council had been waiting for Irish Water to replace the water main on that stretch of the roadway. It has since been agreed that Irish Water will pay for the mains to be replaced but the work will be carried out by the Council so it can be done as a single project.
The design details for the project are being finalised and Mr Barrett said the work will commence in the third-quarter and be completed before the year is out.
That section of roadway had been the subject of much commentary at council meetings, and Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) frequently described it as ‘the worst section of the N71 in West Cork.’
Meanwhile, TII has also granted €700,000 for the resurfacing of the approach road near the golf course in Glengarriff. Resurfacing works at the Ballydehob to Bantry section of road, which was funded last year to the tune of €2.5m, should be finished within a matter of weeks
Last year, Cork County Council’s roads department lost seven weeks of work because of lockdown.
‘We have extended some of last year’s contracts and also tendered this year’s contracts earlier so there will be no delay in getting the works done,’ said Mr Barrett.