Tipperary roads being destroyed by 'freeze-thaw' weather

Council appeal for patience

Tipperary roads potholes

Potholes on Tipperary roads

Cashel Tipperary Municipal District is struggling to keep pace with the deterioration in road conditions, heard this month’s meeting of the local council body.

Senior Engineer Aidan Finn said staff have been re-organised to address the issue, and asked for patience from councillors and the public.

Recent flooding all over the District, meant many roads had to be closed, and Cllr Denis Leahy said “every road in the county has potholes and craters. They’re wicked. I don’t know about your funding. Is there a need for emergency funding, to do some of these jobs?”

Cllr Leahy said some survey should be carried out of the type of damage caused, and an audit of the number of roads requiring repair. “I’ve never seen so many people come to me before saying the roads are in a dire state.”

Mr Finn said there had been numerous ‘freeze-thaw’ events lately, meaning rainwater in very cold weather soaks into the layers underneath the top layer, then freezes and expands creating “huge potholes”. “It’s just as bad or worse in Limerick.”

Mr Finn said they could spend “four to five times the money to what’s coming in” due to the amount of potholes, but it would cost about €500 to fill up one pothole with tarmac. “That all adds up weekly”.

There was a “huge amount of neglect in the last eight years. They will become impassable at this stage. We need to identify them and send them to the Department,” said Denis Leahy.

Mr Finn said he has a map showing all the bad roads, which the Dublin office can see. Cllr Roger Kennedy said said there had been “difficult circumstances in the last six to eight weeks,” especially where the road has been “wet-mixed”. A breach of the top surface, down to four inches, can lead to a pothole “in two days.” “People cannot understand how it gets so deep.” “It’s the top level that maintains the road. What’s underneath is wetmix,” added Cllr Kennedy.

There was a “€1.6m spend in this District last year,” added Mr Finn.

The District would need to spend up to 40% to 50% more just to keep up with repairs adequately.