NO PENALTY will be imposed on the contractor working on repairs to the N53 which led to traffic chaos around Dundalk earlier this month, it was revealed at the monthly meeting of Louth County Council.
Cllr. Tomas Sharkey had asked if the contractor would be penalised as the road was closed at times when it should have been open to morning rush hour traffic.
He said that the delays which had occurred were 'absolutely not acceptable' with one hour tailbacks on the Carrickmacross Road.
Councillors and, he was sure, officials took abuse from irrate motorists and business people, who are rate-payers and had lost business.
He urged that, in future, an audit be done in advance to ensure that nothing like that would happen again.
Senior Engineer Gerry Kelly said that the contractor has submitted a traffic management plan which had been examined by staff.
When it was realised on day one that the traffic management plan was not effective and was causing chaos, the council got in touch with the contractor and amendments were made on day two. However, on day three, there was a mix up between the contractor and the traffic management team and the road was closed too early.
However, he said there would be no penalty as the contractor had submitted a traffic management plan.
It had never been anticipated that the road closure would cause such an effect on other roads and had highighted to them that any time they are doing roadworks it can have a huge effect on traffic on other routes and they would work to ensure this doesn't happen again.