In a statement to the Tipperary Star this week, Independent Councillor Noel O’Dwyer stated; “It is very difficult to understand why a permanent solution to the frequent flooding problem on the Thurles to Moyne road at “Cassestown” has not been implemented.
This is one of the busiest roads in the county and is frequently flooded at one particular location after heavy rain. The road becomes impassable for a full day at least, and often longer, depending on the duration and intensity of the rainfall. Drivers who try to go through the flood are at risk of damaging their engine and have done so on many occasions. It is time to rectify this problem completely.
Local resident, John Kelly told me that in fact there is a concrete pipe with a number of manholes incorporating silt-traps going from where the flood gathers down the roadside and crossing over to the other side about 150 metres from a drain leading to a bog which could take the surface water when it gathers. The only thing blocking it is the fact that where the pipe entered the drain after crossing the road, 3 inch stone was put into the drain raising it to road level to make it safe for traffic as there was no bank of clay to prevent a vehicle slipping into the drain, a job which was necessary from a safety (point of view. The pity is that a pipe of the same of larger bore was not put in under the stone and continued on to enter the drain leading to the bog. The solution which will cost very little is to remove the stone and insert a pipe backfilling the stone as they progress and connect into the drain leading to the bog.
A similar problem, though not as severe is evident on the “Pony’s Lane” which caters for a lot of parents with children attending Rahealty N.S. The solution here is to clean the roadside drain and again put in stone to support the road which also needs reinforcement and insert a pipe halfway up the level of stone so that if the water level reaches the pipe due to lack of soakage from beneath the stone then the pipe will carry it to the adjoining river which is situated about 20 yards from the roadside drain and can be accessed with the prior agreement of the landowner.
This type of work should be carried out at minimal cost and disruption. It is basically a few days work with a good JCB operator and a side tipping dump-truck with a few men laying the heavy duty plastic pipes.
If, as I feel sure the response to this proposal from the Executive will be “There is no funding available for this type of work in the current budget”, I would point out that as far as I am aware, there is supposed to be €80,000 sanctioned to provide a very long-overdue sightline improvement at Rossestown Cross. Now how anyone could come up with a costing of such magnitude to do such a small job to me is incredible. If that amount of money has been put aside it should be used do a lot more than minor sightline work. The Rossestown / Dark Road into Thurles is very heavily-trafficked particularly at morning and evening times because of parents avoiding the Thurles Town centre when taking students to and from various Secondary Schools. In fact a lot of the proposed €80,000 to my mind should be used to improve a very bad bend and widen and improve the road surface. Because of its potential to reduce traffic volumes in Thurles this road should be upgraded to a link road as quickly as possible in my estimation.
In the meantime it is imperative that the minor work needed to end the frequent and costly spectacle of council workers being sent out to try and find a way to relieve flooding with shovels or suction-tanks is carried out, particularly where a permanent solution is evident. Questions need to be asked as to how minor jobs can gobble up multiples of tens, or even hundreds of thousand euros on a regular basis, with all the alacrity of a sow eating small spuds, and still have very little to show for it.