Gate closure to go ahead on August 18
Louth County Council are progressing with plans to close St Laurence's Gate to traffic from Friday August 18th - despite watermain works on the Chord Road that will see sections of it close to traffic from this week until early December.
Mayor Pio Smith says that the closure of the Gate is an 'historic moment' for the town, but is warning that the initial stages will pose issues for traffic and people should be aware of that.
'Traffic travelling west along Scarlet Street will now be able to move south via Oulster Lane and Sandyford Terrace onto the Chord Road and travel toward Laurence Gate before moving down Constitution Hill or up Francis Street,' he stated.
'However, the junction at Chord Road/Constitution Hill/Francis Street needs careful monitoring as two major streams of traffic will converge at this point. In a similar vein, vigilance should be shown to traffic turning left from Jim Garry Way to enter the Laurence Centre which will contend with traffic coming up the Palace from Laurence Street,' he adds.
He says a 'complex junction' will be created at the exit point of Jim Garry Way and it is possible that traffic backlogs could occur at peak traffic times in these areas.
'The Council need to have a plan B ready in the event that the traffic plan does not work. If the recent water outage in Drogheda taught us anything it was that we should always plan for something to go wrong. I will be speaking to the Senior Engineer in the coming days regarding this.'
Furthermore, he has requested Louth County Council to contact residents in the Chord Road and explain how the proposed works on the watermain will affect them in terms of traffic disruption and road openings.
'There are a significant number of senior citizens living in this area as well as school children and it is essential that emergency services and the school bus can have access when needed. At a previous meeting of the Council I asked engineers would the watermain works affect the closure of the Gate and the reply was no. However to date I have not received any information as to how the proposed works will proceed,' he added.