Tipperary County Council has been urged to write to the Department of the Environment seeking funding for the Thurles to Nenagh road at Latteragh
The urgent request was made following subsidence on the road caused by torential rain earlier this month. Traffic lights are now in operation at the point where the road collapsed on the notoriously bad bends.
“Latteragh is on a key artery beween Nenagh, Clonmel and Waterford. It is extremely unsafe,” Cllr John Carroll told Nenagh Municipal District Council, proposing that the Department be written to and that its importance be emphasised.
Eight years ago, a plan by the then North Tipperary County Council to widen the bends was refused by the EU because the river is an important spawning grounds.
“We have to look after the fish, but nothing is more important than the people. It is time to take the bull by the horns,” declared Cllr Mattie Ryan, who raised the issue.
Cllr Hughie McGrath stated that truck drivers were reporting movement in their trucks at the bends.
“Someone could have been killed last Friday. You could be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “It is only a matter of time before other parts of that road get into trouble.”
Cllr McGrath urged that the issue be raised with the National Roads Authority when the council meets the national body in December.
“We need to take on that project and get over the issue of the river,” he said.
The Independent councillor said he had already spoken to local Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly about the condition of the road.
Cllr Ger Darcy said the road was “bad nine years ago”.
District manager Marcus O’Connor said the road was in an “extremely dangerous condition”.
He said one option was to build a series of bridges over the river. Another option was to cut through the embankment on the left side. However, he pointed out that it would require up to E10m to rectify the problem and that it was outside the council’s normal scope of work.
He agreed it should be given greater importance as it was now linking two major roads in the reunited county.
Eight years ago the EU rejected a plan to remove the bad bends on the road because the river is an important fish spawning ground.
“At that time I was worried about that road. It hasn’t got any better. There are only ferns holding it up. I am still extremely concerned,” said Mr O’Connor.