Just three in a hundred or three percent of roads in the Bailieborough-Cootehill Municipal District are to be fixed in the year ahead. Senior engineer at Cavan County Council Jim McQuaid told elected members at their January area meeting that the vastness of the network, coupled with funding constraints and flood damage, is expected to restrict the programme of works for 2016.
With 1100 kilometres of road network in the eastern third of the county to contend with, Mr McQuaid charged the local councillors with drawing up a list of priority jobs before the authority finalises its list for submission to the Department next month. “We need to target the worst affected,” stated Mr McQuaid, highlighting the fact that recent flooding had caused further headaches and surface deterioration on many local routes. Over 30 roadways were deemed impassable due to heavy flooding in the Baileborough-Cootehill area alone.
Mr McQuaid asked that the members draw up their own short-lists by Friday, January 22, before the council submits its claim for funding to the Department of Environment before February 26.
The authority won’t then discover whether or not their application for funding is successful until March-April later this year, but are hopeful of attaining a similar level of funding to 2015, which totalled €8m.
Mr McQuaid further stated that, at present, the council could do little but mend the growing number of potholes across the county, and would not know the extent of damage on flooded roads until waters had subsided fully.
Meanwhile before the Dáil, Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith called on Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe for his Department to provide funding to Monaghan County Council to carry out essential upgrading work on the R190 Ballybay to Cootehill road.
Stating that works on such roads are funded from the council’s own resources supplemented by State road grants, the Minister did, however, indicate that, as part of the response to recent storms and flooding, funding may be available.
“Once a full assessment can be made based on information from local authorities, which could take some time, my officials will engage with local authority officials with a view to addressing critical repair work and examining the scope for remedial works on particular roads,” Minister Donohoe said.