Many storm-damaged West Cork bridges and roads await repair

The causeway bridge in Barleycove, Co Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan

Commuters and tourists still face delays and detours in West Cork as the county council battles to repair serious damage inflicted in the region during last winter’s storms.

A number of bridges, roads and culverts have been seriously damaged in the region; and despite their best efforts council engineers are only getting to grips with some of them now.

However, councillors have asked for some repairs to be postponed because they fear that some works will hinder tourism in the region.

Independent councillor Danny Collins asked that work on replacing the causeway bridge at Barleycove be postponed until late October because local tourism businesses would suffer during their peak season.

Tom Stritch, the county council’s director of roads, said he did not want to leave the start of construction go any later than the end of September, as work could become difficult later.

Five other bridges were also very badly damaged in the region and need to be replaced. Several other need significant repairs. Contractors have been appointed to carry out repairs at Kilmacsimon/Kildarra bridge in Bandon; Clashduff and Caherkeen bridges in Bantry; Kilbrittain bridge; and another in Enniskeane.

Meanwhile, Mr Stritch said landslides caused by torrential rain are also being addressed. A contract has been awarded for the stabilisation of the Reenmeen embankment in Glengarriff, which slid into the river. Additional stabilisation works will have to be carried out on an embankment at Ballylickey in the Borlin valley near Bantry.

Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy said replacing bridges seemed to be very slow work and then said that several months later many people still have lengthy detours to travel to work or make school runs.

Mr Murphy also said there is a lot of subsidence on streets in Innishannon which needs to be addressed. He said up to 18,000 vehicles pass through the village every weekday.

James O’Donovan agreed with his party colleague. He said the subsidence, possibly caused by the winter storms, is “causing a good bit of hassle” in Innishannon.

Council officials said the main street in Innishannon is the responsibility of Transport Infrastructure Ireland as it is a national secondary road and said it would contact the body about it.

Mr Stritch also provided councillors with a long list of roads which need to be repaired. Several councillors spoke about the state of the road in Leap, which like Innishannon is on the N71. Mr Stritch said tender documents are ready for that project.


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