Saturday 24 August 2019

Resurfacing job spend 'too high'

Cllr Edward Timmins
Cllr Edward Timmins
Cllr Gerry O’Neill

Myles Buchanan

Councillors maintain that funding provided for resurfacing works along the N81 could have been spent better elsewhere.

The works commenced on Tuesday and will involve resurfacing on the N81 from the Kilteel Junction all the way up to the Blessington Inner Relief Road junction with N81.

They are due to take six weeks to complete and a stop go traffic management system will be in place for the duration of the works, with motorists advised to expect delays.

However, Councillors Gerry O'Neill (Ind) and Cllr Edward Timmins (FG) both feel the resurfacing works appear unnecessary and the €1.1 million would have been better spent in correcting the Crosschapel junction or widening sections of the N81.

'It's ridiculous to spend €1.1 million on resurfacing that stretch of the N81 without addressing the major issues on the N81 at Crosschapel,' said Cllr O'Neill. 'There's no lighting and when vehicles coming from Dublin are indicating to turn right, other motorists are using the hard shoulder to pass them. It's becoming very dangerous, especially for families with houses along the road. There have been fatalities there before and something needs to be done, urgently.'

He has written to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) asking them to explain how they came to the conclusion that resurfacing works were priority.

'No one will argue against improvements to the N81 but this is just surface dressing, excuse the pun, instead of tackling the real issues. Generally the surface of the N81 is decent enough. The €1.1 million could have gone toward works at Crosschapel, or it could have been used to finish the Blessington relief road instead,' said Cllr O'Neill.

Cllr Timmins has criticised the lack of consultation which took place beforehand.

'I agree the money could have been spent elsewhere. No consultation took place with the elected members prior to the works in relation to the expenditure. I'm not a road expect but the surface of most of the N81 where the works are taking place appears fine. The money could have gone into widening the N81 south of Hollywood, where there are stretches of road where widening is possible,' said Cllr Timmins.

Wicklow People