Long-demanded improvements to dangerous sections of the Mallow to Killarney road are being further delayed due to a lack of funding.
One of the main arteries into Kerry, the N72 national secondary road has been described as a “torment”, with hazardous bends and bridges and hollows on the surface.
However, a notorious humpback bridge on a bend between the villages of Barraduff and Rathmore is unlikely to be widened and realigned, Killarney Municipal District councillors were told.
The National Roads Authority (NRA) is currently not undertaking individual bridge widening schemes because of funding constraints, according to the council’s road engineers.
The issue was raised by Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae who said the state of the road was a very serious matter and had been neglected over many years.
“The road has been a torment,” he stated, after being informed the NRA did not regard a realignment at that location between Barraduff and Rathmore as a priority.
He also took exception to a remark by senior roads engineer with Kerry County Council, Ger MacNamara that Kerry was “very lucky” to be receiving funding from the NRA, which was concentrating on pavement improvements because of lack of funds.
Mr MacNamara said Kerry was doing better than other counties in that regard.
However, Mr Healy-Rae did not accept Kerry was lucky, saying people were entitled to good roads.
Calls were also made for work on hollows just on the Killarney side of Barraduff, amid claims that lorry drivers had the steering wheel “whipped” out of their hands when they hit the hollows.
Mr Healy-Rae said one motorist had told him that a lorry had swerved towards them on the road and were “blessing themselves all the way into Killarney”.
He was supported by South Kerry Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson who said the stretch outside Barraduff was “extraordinarily dangerous” and needed urgent work.
“If a drivers travelling at 100km/h hit the hollows the wrong way they would end up inside in a bog,” he warned.
The council is to ask the NRA for extra maintenance funding to repair the hollows.
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