Cavan receives €17.5M for works on local roads

Cavan County Council has been awarded €17.5M for its non national roads programme this year. It includes a specific allocation of €400,000 for realignment works at Assan Bridge and the L3201 road in Lavey that passes over it, as well as €250,000 for the R118 Rathkenny Cavan to Cootehill Road, which forms part of the East-West route.

The largest chunk of money - €9.1M - will go towards restoration works on roads across the county with a further €1.3M allocated for restoration maintenance.

Paddy Connaughton, Director of Service for Transportation, Environment and Water Services welcomed the increased allocation but warned that inflation and rising costs would impact the spending power.

“We are cognisant that costs have increased significantly over the past year, which will negate any increase on last year’s allocation. As always, Cavan County Council will endeavour to spend our allocation as effectively and efficiently as possible to maximise the resources available.”

Cavan Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith, was among the first to welcome the funding yesterday morning (Tuesday) allocated by Minister of State, Jack Chambers. However Deputy Smith says more is needed.

“Major investment is needed in our road network in both Cavan and Monaghan as the condition of many roads in both counties has deteriorated. This year’s allocation plus the substantial Road Works Programme undertaken in 2022 will make a real difference in the quality and condition of roads for many communities,” he said.

Neighbouring County Monaghan received an allocation of €16.2M. Deputy Niamh Smyth also welcomed the allocations, which exceed €33.7M for the constituency.

“This is part of a significant investment programme aimed at supporting communities, rural businesses, and connectivity in 2023 through the restoration and improvement of regional and local roads,” said Deputy Smyth.

She added that a key priority for Fianna Fáil in Government is the “protection and renewal” of the existing road network.

“Maintaining our local roads is not just vital for good connectivity, it is also important for continuing and improving road safety for all road users,” said Deputy Smyth.

Local Fine Gael councillor Val Smith also welcomed the allocations, in particular the money for Assan Bridge. Council plans to realign the bridge had faced objection from Inland Fisheries Ireland who were eager to protect the watercourse which is an important habitat for wild salmon.

“It’s a bridge that had lots of controversy over the last while and it very badly needed repair. All the applications I put through have paid off,” he said.

He explained that the route attracts a large volume of local and agricultural traffic.

“It’s 100 metres away from Gerard Clarke’s, the main supplier of farm machinery and one of the biggest in the county, and it was just leaving it awkward for people to go into the east.

“They couldn’t go that way, that would be out towards Grousehall, Bailieborough Cavan Road, they’d have to go through Virginia with their lorries and artics.

“We’re keeping the Inland Fisheries happy, they're happy with what we’re doing with the alignment of the bridge and the waterways,” added Cllr Smith.

Finally, reflecting on the impact of funding nationwide Minister Heather Humphreys said: “A total of €626 million will be invested in local regional and local roads around the country this year.

“This represents an increase in funding of €20m for road pavement and rehabilitation works. The funding package will allow approximately 3,100kms of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2,550kms to be strengthened.”