No end in sight yet to road closure on the outskirts of Ballymore Eustace

Engineering consultants have prepared a report

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

No end in sight yet to road closure on the outskirts of Ballymore Eustace

It is not yet known when the road at Coughlanstown will reopen

The extent of the damage caused to a rural road near Ballymore when a section of land gave way has been assessed.

The first step towards a reconstruction project was taken last week when a report by engineering consultants Arup was due to be presented to Kildare County Council.

The road at Coughlanstown has been closed for four months. Kildare County Council stopped traffic using the road after a section of the bank at the side of the road gave way.

The road itself was visually undamaged but KCC closed it on safety grounds because the subsidence was severe and took place at a severe, almost vertical slope. This meant that more damage than was immediately apparent could have been caused.

Councillor Anne Breen pressed for action to be taken as soon as possible to provide a solution and said people “have great anxiety and concern” over the closure - which has forced some residents on a round trip of almost 9 miles to get to and from Ballymore.

Diverted traffic is using the Mullaboden Road, which has been described as a boreen.

However KCC have said that safety is a priority and the road will not reopen until they are satisfied it is safe.

District Engineer David Reel said that the route remains closed and the preliminary Arup report will identify the issues, causes as well as possible solutions..

In the absence of a firm reopening date, councillors have expressed fears that the alternative route will be damaged.

And there are concerns too about possible financial damage to retailers in Ballymore.

Cllr Billy Hillis said the alternative route could deteriorate rapidly and added it is important that maintenance work is carried out on this road.

Local resident Mary Campbell said that the community accepts that inconvenience is unavoidable and in the immediate aftermath of the incident, caused by a burst water pipe, there were fears of possible damage to pipes carrying water and sewage as well as gas and telecommunications infrastructure.

She said that a road had been closed on three occasions in the last four years and residents who have children are the most inconvenienced.