PLANS to close the Caha Tunnel between Cork and Kerry, day and night, for a full week, have been revised following local pressure.
However, while Kerry County Council has now conceded that it only needs to close the tunnel during the night-time, from 7pm to 7am, the works will take longer as a result.
There was outrage when local farmers and Cork-Kerry commuters discovered that the diversions would mean an 85km (via Castletownbere) or 209km (via Macroom) journey.
When the story was reported in the August 4th edition of The Southern Star, there was a huge reaction online, with many people surprised at the alternative travel arrangements.
As a result of meetings and representations to Kerry County Council, it was announced this week that the works will now take place on the N71 from Glengarriff to Kenmare, closing the tunnel, from 7pm to 7am for 12 nights, in late September and early October.
‘It is now proposed to carry out the works using night-time road closures,’ a spokesperson for Kerry County Council said. ‘As this will slow progress, a 12-night road closure is required, from 7pm to 7am daily. This is scheduled to commence at 7pm on Monday September 24th and should end at 7am on Saturday October 6th.’
Cork County Council, who are also scheduled to carry out resurfacing works on the N71 from Glengarriff to the Caha Tunnel also issued a statement confirming that the ‘full’ closure of the road for a number of weeks will now, not take place. ‘In relation to the resurfacing project, which will be carried out by Cork County Council, staff have recently examined the section of the N71 concerned in detail and are of the view that the length of road requiring resurfacing can be reduced, subject to the agreement of Transport Infrastructure Ireland,’ director of services, roads and transportation, Tom Stritch said. ‘This would have the effect of reducing the length of time that will be required to carry out the work. The Council must however, be cognisant in carrying out the resurfacing planned of the need to carry it out in weather conditions that do not compromise the quality of the finished product and of the safety of both the workers involved in doing the work, and the public travelling on the road.’