A view of Chapel Street from St Nicholas Church
A busy Carrick-on-Suir town centre street is to close to traffic for nearly three weeks in October to facilitate a €92,000 upgrade of its road infrastructure.
But the Co. Council's planned revamp of the one-way Chapel Street that is a popular short cut for motorists travelling from Main Street to the N24, has been criticised by local Cllr Kieran Bourke (FF) for not going far enough.
Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Engineer Willie Corby said the project will comprise the resurfacing of Chapel Street's roadway and reconstruction of its footpaths. But he confirmed it will not involve the widening of the footpaths or the upgrade of its public lighting.
However, Cllr Bourke said he had understood the project's €92,000 budget also included the widening of the footpaths and replacement of the old timber pole public lighting with cast iron poles.
He expressed disappointment that these works were not going to be done. He said the footpaths were not wide enough for parents to push buggies on or for wheelchair users. "If the Council's leaves the footpaths the same width it is just throwing the money away," he declared.
Mr Corby responded that the Council's budget for this project didn't allow it to widen the footpaths and improve the street lighting but it would consider doing these works if it had further funding in the future.
He pointed out that because of the narrowness of Chapel Street, the Council would have to acquire property from landowners to widen the footpaths.
The Council published a public notice in The Nationalist and sent letters to residents and business owners on the street informing them of the planned closure of the street and the proposed road works.
Residents and businesses have been informed Chapel Street will close from 8am on Monday, October 9 until 7pm on Friday, October 27.
During the road reconstruction works, the Council says traffic will be diverted west along Main Street through Sean Kelly Square, down Kickham Street, along Town Wall Street and William Street.
The Council's letter apologised to residents and businesses for any inconvenience the road works will cause and invited anyone with objections to the temporary closure of the street to submit them in writing to the Council. The deadline for submissions was last Thursday, September 21.
While he criticised the project for not going far enough, Cllr Bourke welcomed the fact Chapel Street's roadway will be reconstructed and resurfaced.
"The road surface on the street is deplorable and with all the potholes and loose manholes, residents find it hard to sleep at night due to the noise of the traffic bumping along it," he said.