Waterford Council is conducting a €142,000 (ex VAT) restoration project in Dungarvan town centre within three years of a modernisation project that ran €2.1m over cost being completed.
The council committed €1.2m towards upgrading Grattan Square in 2016 as part of €7.2m funding received under the government’s Smarter Travel scheme.
Lasting 18 months, the work was intended to remodel the square as a ‘shared space’ environment with equal priority for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
However, the mix of limestone paving, zebra crossings and mini-roundabouts divided public and political opinion.
Initially, local councillors complained that the grey/black colouring scheme and the proximity of the features to each other were confusing users.
Then within months gaping indents and ruptured tiles became increasingly evident, leading to the council banning HGVs.
Waterford Council CEO Michael Walsh said the work had been “underestimated by the contractor” and blamed the budgetary overrun – which was covered from council resources - on “unforeseen obstacles and delays”.
Senior engineer for roads, Gabriel Hynes, said the council has commenced the process of retrieving costs from “some or all of the parties” involved, namely design team Atkins engineering consultants, landscape architects Mitchell + Associates, quantity surveyors Healy, Kelly, Turner and Townsend (HKTT) and construction company Wills Brothers Ltd.
[readmore]1006025[/readmoire] Waterford Sinn Fein Councillor Conor McGuinness had described the square as “virtually a no-go area for many people with disabilities,” saying he was frequently contacted by people who had fallen or stumbled there. “Questions need to be answered in regard to the original design and cost overrun”, he said. Mr Hynes declined to say whether injury claims were made against the council, adding that he was “limited from commenting further” in lieu of possible legal cases. The remedial works by Tarstone Road Maintenance Ltd of Navan will see tarmac replace the block paving and underlying bedding mortar and pedestrian crossings presented in red imprinted tarmac. Tarmac will also replace raised tables and crossings at two junctions and “isolated repairs will be conducted in other small areas where failure in block paving failure is evident”, Mr Hynes said. The pedestrian areas around the square will remain unchanged.