Motorists face months of disruption in West Cork’s gateway town as works begin tomorrow on a multimillion-euro drainage scheme.
Residents of one of Bandon’s most historic streets could face a 26km round trip each time they need to drive into the town, it emerged.
Stage two of the €4m Bandon main drainage scheme, scheduled to run for the next 18 months or so, will involve the construction of 14km of pipeline, 272 manholes, and two pumping stations.
While it will cause widespread disruption around Bandon, its effects will be particularly experienced by some residents of the picturesque but narrow Watergate St, according to the town’s mayor, Sean O’Donovan.
He said the street would have to be completely dug up — denying locals direct access to the town by car.
“While there will be pedestrian access to Bandon town centre from Watergate St, there will be no facility for cars to either park on the street or drive directly from Watergate St into the town.”
From June 29, when Watergate St is closed to allow works to begin, elderly residents and anybody who has impaired mobility and would normally drive into Bandon to shop, collect a pension, or visit the doctor could instead face a journey of several kilometres to Innishannon, he said.
From there, they would drive back into Bandon via the main Cork road — a total round trip of about 26km.
“This will cause a lot of inconvenience for the residents of that area — residents living at the far end of the street may have to drive to Innishannon or Kilpatrick to get into Bandon,” he said, adding that the situation was expected to continue for several weeks.
Residents of the street are advised to apply to the local council office for temporary parking permits which will be made available for those who need to park at other locations around the town.
The works, beginning tomorrow on Brady’s Lane car park opposite the Munster Arms Hotel and on the sewage treatment plant on the main Bandon/Cork road, will continue for just under a year-and-a-half and will entail a lot of disruption.
Mr O’Donovan said: “There will be road closures and parts of every street will be dug up at some stage over the next 18 months — they will be increasing the size of existing piping and separating foul water from sewage. It’s a very big and very necessary project.”
A team of surveyors has been on the streets for the past six weeks, carrying out survey work on existing pipelines and boring trial holes to determine the suitability of the ground and of the location of existing services.
More road closures — in Bank Place and North Main St — are expected to take place next month.
“I would ask people to be patient. This is very necessary work which we have been waiting a long time. It will upgrade the main drainage system and make it suitable for more development in the town, and it will alleviate problems in some areas where excess rain results in flash flood and sewage back-up in toilets.”
Meanwhile, Bandon’s flood relief scheme is due to start next May and will run until October. It will continue between May and October of 2014.
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