THE old stone bridge over the Mall River at the Spa Road entrance to Dingle Mart was demolished last week to make way for a wider, concrete replacement that will carry the town's inner relief road up the back of Main Street.
Kerry County Council removed the old bridge as part of phase II of the works which will eventually see a relief road connect the roundabout at the entrance to the town at the Mail Road with Upper Main Street. .
According to local Councillor Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, the new road is needed to relieve traffic in the town centre area, especially at the junction between John Street, Main Street, Spa Road and the Mall.
"Space is very limited and congestion, especially when it comes to heavy goods vehicles and lorries, is very bad in this part of the town," he said. "It is also a major access point to the town, via the Conor Pass, and as an alternate route to and from Tralee. The new relief road will alleviate this congestion by allowing larger vehicles access via the new route."
"Phase I of construction saw the development of the new road, Bóthar na bPiarsach, from the Mail Road roundabout. Phase II will see the construction of a road from John Street down through the Mart to the Spa Road," he added.
Phase II of the relief road construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and phase III will see the construction of a road linking the Spa Road with Upper Main Street/Goat Street, just above the Holy Stone.
There is also some good news on the horizon for the residents of John Street and Marian Park as, according to Cllr. Fitzgerald, long overdue resurfacing work on the street will also be completed as part of the project.