Fingal County Council has been criticised for not providing a timeframe for the completion of repairs to a section of road that recently subsided in Swords.
A temporary traffic management system remains in place almost two months after the subsidence occurred on part of Brackenstown Road on April 25. Residents now fear that active travel works underway will add to existing traffic delays being experienced in the area.
The issue was raised with Fingal County Council by Cllr Ann Graves (SF), who called for an update on repairs to the damaged section of Brackenstown Road. She said work on the cycle lanes at St Cronin’s/Brackenstown Road has now started, which will cause further disruption to traffic if both of the main artery roads have reduced capacity.
“It will result in traffic mayhem, particularly at peak times,” she warned. “This is a major issue for local residents who are extremely concerned at the potential for further chaos.”
In its response, Fingal County Council said the short section of Brackenstown Road affected by the subsidence is adjacent to a steep drop.
“In the interests of safety, traffic has been restricted to one-way, alternating flow to keep it away from the area of subsidence,” they said. “In order to support the road from further subsidence and to protect it from the weight of heavy traffic, the repairs may require the design and construction of a retaining wall and/or ground stabilisation.
“We are working closely with our procurement section to set up a framework of consulting engineers, from which we intend to appoint a suitably qualified firm to undertake the necessary engineering design. As we are bound by both Government and EU Procurement Regulations, the process of establishing a framework takes time. Accordingly, we do not envisage that the repairs to the road will be completed in the short or even medium-term. We will be happy to notify the elected members when the procurement process is complete and when a consulting engineer is appointed.”
However, Cllr Graves described the council’s response as “unacceptable” and said it was “shocking” they did not know when repairs would be carried out. Already there is a huge build-up of traffic, particularly at peak times,” she said. “Residents in Knocksedan have been calling for a footpath for years and this section of Brackenstown Road, which has no pedestrian walkway, is their only access to the bus services and amenities in Swords Manor and beyond.
“This is an extremely dangerous road with no lighting, and the added complication of the closed section makes it even more so. While it may not be an easy fix, this has to be dealt with urgently.”
Cllr Graves called for a management plan to deal with the impacts of the road subsidence works, active travel plans and provision of traffic calming ramps on Brackenstown Road.
“If these works are carried out at the same time and there is no traffic management plan in place, the area will be gridlocked,” she added.