CORK county councillors have backed an ambitious plan to spend more than €5.5 million implementing a roads programme for the Mallow area over the coming four years.
The programme was presented to councillors for their approval at this week's meeting of the council's Mallow electoral area. It makes provision for 60 separate projects, which the council hopes to complete between 2013 and 2016.
However, the programme was not passed without controversy, with councillors expressing their disappointment that certain projects were not included within the programme.
Cllr's John Paul O'Shea ( Ind) and Dan Joe Fitzgerald (FF) were particularly concerned at the omission of the road at Carrigacleena near Bweeng.
Earlier this year, The Corkman highlighted the condition of the road, in which Cllr Fitzgerald branded it as "atrocious".
"The surface is completely gone in places," he told The Corkman. "It has almost come to the point where it will have to be closed to traffic for safety reason."
Speaking at this week's meeting, Cllr O'Shea pointed out that the road had deteriorated even further, rendering sections of it virtually impassable.
While the two councillors welcomed the programme, they both called for the Bweeng road to be included on it.
"It is in a diabolical state, local residents cannot afford to wait another four years for it to be repaired," said Cllr Fitzgerald.
Cllr O'Shea was equally angered by its omission, pointing to the fact that he had flagged the issue on numerous occasions over the past few years.
Senior council engineer Jim Moloney said council staff had undertaken an extensive survey of roads across the area and those included in the programme were deemed to need the most work.
"In our opinion this road did not rank high enough on the priority list. It's up to you as councillors to include it on the programme, but this will mean taking one off the list," he said.
Cllr Noel O'Connor said this would be unfair, pointing out that he too knew of other roads he believed should have been included on the programme.
After extensive discussions, Cllr's O'Shea and Fitzgerald reluctantly agreed to approve the programme, in the hope that extra money could be found to repair the road in Bweeng.
"I understand this programme needs to be approved to finalise budgets for 2013, but I will keep knocking on every door to make sure this road gets repaired," said Cllr Fitzgerald.