FOUR roads – two of which are minor – are still closed in West Cork after the September flooding.
‘We are heading for four weeks [of them being closed],’ Cllr Michael Collins (Ind) said when he protested about the delay in having the roads on the Mizen peninsula reopened.
Michael O’Driscoll, a senior executive engineer with Cork County Council, and Damien Murphy, an area engineer, confirmed that an application for a total of €3m in funding has been submitted to the Department of Transport.
Mr O’Driscoll said the road at Dough – which is the well known causeway that runs parallel to Barleycove Beach – is closed at present because a culvert under the road has collapsed.
In such circumstances, he said it would be normal practice to carry out a hydrological study before starting the repair works, but due to the emergency situation, he said the Council might be exempt from having to do this before the works start.
Although there is 10-12m of the road very badly damaged, Mr O’Driscoll indicated that it might be possible to do a temporary repair job so it would take passing traffic.
Cllrs Collins said the road from Goleen to the Mizen is open but locals and visitors travelling from Crookhaven to the tourist attraction at Mizen Head have to take a detour via Goleen, which adds 20 minutes to their journey.
Mothers taking their children to school are also affected by the detours, according to Cllr Collins, who called on the Council officials to expedite the matter. ‘This is a very serious issue,’ he said, ‘and people are frustrated by the delay.’
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) agreed saying: ‘It’s not good enough – every year we have some emergency or another, whether it is a storm, torrential rain, or ice. It is time for the Department of Transport and local authorities to set aside emergency funding so that emergency works can be carried out swiftly.’
Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) agreed that pressure should be brought to bear on the Department of Transport to produce the funding as soon as possible because ‘the fear is that we would be told to use next year’s allocation.’
Mr Murphy, the engineer, pointed out that there is a lot of drainage work required in the Bantry area and on the Mizen peninsula, and that there is a concern that more bad weather would wash away whatever works would be carried out in the interim.