Wednesday 23 May 2018

Funding shortfall has left a legacy of potholed roads

David Looby

The county's director of services for roads has criticised the lack of investment in our highways and byways, saying it has left a legacy of potholed roads.

Speaking at last week's New Ross Municipal District council meeting Eamonn Hore said the county's roads funding was cut in 2000 and was not restored since. 'We were particularly badly hit this year and there is an underlying problem as Wexford's roads were in the bottom 5 per cent nationally and we haven't received one additional penny so we can never catch up.'

Executive Engineer Abraham Dunne said work is ongoing filling potholes and drainage after the snow.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Wilie Fitzharris asked how the council keeps track of all of the potholes. 'Are people ringing in and complaining.'

Mr Dunne said there are 12 foremen who drive around their areas and survey the roads for potholes. 'I'd say it's 80 per cent proactive work and 20 per cent communications coming in about potholes.'

Cllr John Fleming said the surface dressing cycle on rural non national roads is once every 38.8 years.

'The total length of non national roads in the county is 3,473 kms. This year 89.57 kms will be surface dressed which means the same roads will not be surface dressed again until 38.8 years time. As a rural councillor I get more phone calls regarding road issues than any other and I am sure every other rural councillor is the same.'

He said if the roads are not surface dressed in time they will have to be strengthened which is four times the cost.

'The fact is the government does not provide sufficient funding to keep our roads in proper road worthy condition and until such time non national roads in Wexford will remain in poor condition.'

Mr Dunne said up to 7kms of road in Carroriegh was badly damaged in the snow and bad weather, adding that the council is awaiting Government funding.

Mr Hore said there is no guarantee of funding but the council has applied for it.

Cllr Larry O'Brien said he met with Transport Minister Shane Ross recently and he believes funding will be forthcoming.

New Ross Standard