A section of the M8 motorway will be closed next month to enhance drainage works amid concern that climate change could make the main Cork-Dublin road unsafe.
National Roads Authority spokesman Sean O’Neill said the action was being taken now in advance of potentially wetter weather in the years to come.
The NRA has said that surveys carried out showed a section of road, near Mitchelstown, was exposed to “more rain than normal”, possibly due to its closeness to the Galtee mountains. The road will be closed for a period of two weeks.
Excess surface water has been noticed on the northbound section of the road between Junctions 12 and 11, where the drainage works will take place.
The county council, which is acting as agents for the NRA, has issued a notice of intent to close the northbound carriageway between the two junctions from 6am on Monday, November 3 to midday on Sunday, November 16 to facilitate the work.
Mr O’Neill said following detailed assessments of the section it was decided to do the work now rather than later in the interest of motorists’ safety.
“We need to future proof it because we are likely getting heavier deluges and the topography of the area has led this section to suffer from very heavy rain in the past,” Mr O’Neill said.
The NRA recently had to upgrade drainage works on another section close to Cahir because it also suffered from excess surface water, again due to its proximity to the Galtees.
The section to be closed is part of the 16km Fermoy-Mitchelstown M8 scheme, opened on May 25, 2009 at a cost of €174m.
When the section is closed motorists travelling north should exit junction 12 south of Mitchelstown onto the N73. They should then take the first exit off the first roundabout and the third exit off the second roundabout onto the R639 before rejoining the motorway at junction 11.
Anybody who wants to lodge an objection to the road closure must write to the council’s roads, finance and administration office at The Courthouse, Skibbereen, before 5pm on Wednesday next.
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