WORK to be carried out on Suir Bridge in Thurles could not be done at night, councillors were told at the July meeting of North Tipperary County Council. It was reported in last week’s Tipperary Star that the town could face traffic chaos for up to 18 months because of the roadworks.
Local councillor John Kennedy, Labour, said: “Every councillor has problems with the time frame.”
He called on county manager Joe MacGrath to engage with the contractors, the consultants and the Gardai to limit the “mayhem”, and further asked that the work be carried out at night.
Fellow Thurles councillor Seamus Hanafin, FF, agreed, saying he didn’t think that there were any constraints placed on the contractor during the tendering process.
“I don’t want to find that the first week back at school has been a disaster. It needs to be managed,” he said.
And Independent Thurles councillor Jim Ryan maintained that there had been “no real consultations” about the work and warned that it would cause “huge disruption” to traffic.
Cllr Micheal Lowry (pictured), Independent, supported his fellow Thurles councillors and encouraged the council to ensure that any disruption would be “kept to a minimum”.
Senior engineer Michael F Hayes told the councillors that he would be meeting the contractors, consultants and Gardai and the council would “deal with it as best we can”.
He described the roadworks as “important work”, but warned that they could not “force the contractors” to work at night. “It is not an option.”
Mr Hayes said it could be a matter of health and safety.
However, Cllr Hanafin replied that it was a “matter of health and safety that the work should be kept to a minimum. Show us the health and safety reasons why it can’t be done.”
Director of services Maarcus O’Connor told the councillors he was aware that the water conservation works in Thurles would “go on for years”, but assured them that the work would not clash with the Suir Bridge works.