NRA under fire as rains cause mayhem on roads

Traffic at a standstill on the M50/M11 yesterday after the road was closed due to flooding. Picture: Colin Keegan

An investigation is to be carried out by the National Roads Authority and local authorities after one of the country’s busiest roads was shut down by floods that left thousands of motorists stranded for hours.

At the height of the chaos on the N11/M11 through Dublin and Wicklow, trips of a few kilometres were taking up to four hours as motorists were diverted onto choked local roads.

The worst affected stretch of the four-lane road was impassable from early morning in both directions, only reopening for a few hours before becoming completely blocked again. There were conflicting reports of when pumps arrived at the scene.

NRA spokesman Sean O’Neill said the authority would meet with the Dublin and Wicklow local authorities and the operators of the adjoining M50 to find out what went wrong.

“There will be a postmortem. The road could handle the water on its surface but it got deluged by water coming off surrounding fields so drainage is an issue we need to look at.”

Earlier, Mr O’Neill said it was not possible to engineer for the excessive rainfall, but regular commuters on the route complained the area also suffered extensive flooding two months ago.

Gardaí have also defended their handling of the issue.

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