KERRY County Council is to spend almost €7 million a year until 2016 upgrading some 300 kilometres of Kerry's road network. At Monday's monthly meeting of Kerry County Council management presented councillors with its four year programme of planned road works and restoration for 2013 to 2016.
The works programme is based on a annual spend of €6.8 million, a reduction of around €1.2 million a year on last year's figure, which will see around 300 kilometres of Kerry's 4,287 road network undergo restoration work including reconstruction, overlaying, surface restoration and resealing.
Council managers said they are aware of several stretches of road that need restoration but cannot be included in the programme. The council will "endeavour to maintain" those at a good standard using the council's separate road maintenance allocation.
In all, 72 individual sections of road, divided across Kerry's five electoral areas, are scheduled to undergo works next year.
During the debate on the roads Programme Cllr Danny Healy Rae (Ind) expressed concerns about government proposals that residents living on small roads should cover part of the maintenance cost.
"The government want a contribution from people towards maintaining their locals roads. That's another example of the government asking people to pay for things three times. I've had an amount of people coming up to me asking what they're paying motor tax for if its not for their roads," he said.
Cllr Healy Rae also appealed to management to ensure that a proper drainage programme is implelemted to safeguard the county's road structure in anticipation of another cold snap.
"Every effort has to be made to make sure that our roads aren't eroded because if we get frost then every bit of tar in these flooded areas will lifted and the roads will become impassable," he said. Cllr Toireasa Ferris agreed, saying that the council was throwing good money after bad simply repairing roads without addressing the required drainage works first.