Lis­towel brac­ing for traf­fic de­lays as gas pipe ar­rives

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By Dó­nal Nolan

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

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