Listowel bracing for traffic delays as gas pipe arrives
PHASE two of a major gas project that sees Listowel becoming the first town in Kerry to connect to the national gas grid is expected to hit traffic flow through the town hard for a period of some two months when it gets underway soon. Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) is currently finalising the connection to the Kerry Ingredients plant at Tanavalla in a move that’s been widely welcomed as it underpins an industry of vital importance to the economy of North Kerry. As the company moves into the second phase of the €20 million project – the laying of the distribution network into the town – locals are being urged to attend a special information event on Thursday, February 22, in the Listowel Arms Hotel. It’s an event organised by GNI to keep the town informed about the scheme and to set out the benefits of changing to gas as a fuel – an option that will soon be available to everyone in Listowel. Fine Gael County Councillor Aoife Thornton is urging people to attend: “There will be disruptions to traffic but I suppose on balance we have to look at the benefits the town is getting. Firstly, securing gas for Kerry Ingredients is a major step allowing the firm to compete without having to move from North Kerry and, secondly, the knock-on benefits to the town as this alternate fuel becomes a reality. “With grants to change avail- able from the SEAI, it could represent massive savings, in particular for schools where savings can make a huge difference to tight budgets; businesses and domestic users.” Together with Stephen Stack of the Alliance, Cllr Thornton has been informed the works should be complete before the first major event of the year in Writers’ Week. They are expected to begin around March 1, take nine weeks to complete with two crews deployed on the phase. “Traffic lights will be in operation along the Bridge Road as the line is brought up. 200 metres will be laid everyday with 500m of laid pipe kept open for testing as the work progresses through town.” Once up Bridge Street, the work will progress up Church St to terminate at St Michael’s as the second crew begin the other side of the network from the cinema down into Charles St and to connect with the previously installed gas line under William St; as other lines veer for the Convent side.
Fine Gael County Councillor Aoife Thornton