MOTORISTS using the N72 Fermoy to Mallow road will have to put up with traffic diversions until at least March of next year due to ongoing roadworks along the route.
Cork County Council are in the process of undertaking the most comprehensive programme of works on the road, widely considered as being one of the most dangerous in Ireland, in decades at a cost of more than €5 million.
The most recent set of works commenced over the past fortnight and involve the resurfacing of a 1.5km stretch of road between Ballyhooly village and Fermoy. As a result diversions have been put in place for traffic travelling in both directions.
It is hoped that the work, which will cost in the region of €1 million, will be completed by the middle of next month.
This is in addition works started in July of this year to realign a section of the road at Carrig Glen after it emerged that the road surface was subsiding. This work, which is costing in the region of €1.2 million, is expected to be completed by the second week of December.
A programme of road resurfacing and widening is also ongoing between Ballygriffin Bridge and Castletownroche at a cost of €2.8 million. This work is not due to be completed until next March, meaning motorists will have to face at least another five months of diversions.
Senior Cork County Council engineer Adain Weir said that additional works may also be undertaken on the N72 next year, with the possibility of diversions being in place until the summer.
He said the National Roads Authority (NRA) had been petitioned for extra funding to resurface an additional stretch of the road between Carrig Glen and the Nano Nagle Centre.
"It would make sense to do this work in order to compliment the current works once they have been completed. Hopefully the NRA will be in a position to sanction the money for this in the New Year," said Mr Weir.
He said the council recognised the programme of works had caused inconvenience for motorists but that was unavoidable.
"Unfortunately you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. The current serious of diversions are far from ideal but this work needed to be done and we were fortunate that the NRA made the funding available," he said.
"People have been waiting decades for sections of this road to be done and the net result is that once the work has been completed the N72 will be a lot safer to travel on," added Mr Weir.