Plans to remove electricity poles off Parnell Street in Thurles and to overlay the entire street along with Cuchulainn Road have bene broadly welcomed by members of Thurles Templemore Municipal District.
However, what has not been welcomed is the proposed four week road closure which will be sought by the council’s District Engineer Mr Ruairi Boland who informed members of the works at this weeks meeting. But, he stressed that the work will not take four weeks and it will not be necessary to have the street closed for the full of this period.
Mr Boland explained that seeking the four week closure was necessary, but he added that for most of the work a one lane system with diversions in place can operate. Only at the end from Liberty Square to the Parnell Street car park, will it be necessary to shut off the road altogether as it is too narrow to accommodate works and one line of traffic operating in tandem.
While proving a new road surface is the icing on the cake for these two streets in the town, the removal of the ESB poles off Parnell Street and the subsequent flexibility this will give is a real bonus on a street where severe traffic difficulties have been felt. This work has been called for on numerous occasion by Thurles Town Council and is quite significant. And, District Manager Mr Matt Shortt paid tribute ot the Engineer for the huge volume of work and persuasion he had invested in this proposal to get the go ahead and to have the works undertaken at the same time.
Footpaths will also be up-graded on Parnell Street and Cllr Seamus Hanafin pointed out that sections of Cuchulainn Road could also do with footpath attention.
Despite welcoming the works to be carried out, councillors did express concerns about the impact to business of closing the road for any period. Cllr John Hogan questioned whether the work could be undertaken at night time when the street would be quieter. Cllr Jim Ryan asked that the council liaise with the schools in the area to see if anything could be done to alleviate traffic build-up at the same time and he also pointed out that schools would be off for a week at the end of October - as much work as possible should be done at this time he said. Cllr David Doran agreed that night time work would be best also.
The contract has not yet been awarded but every effort will be made to have the project run as smoothly as possible, Mr Boland said.