Un­cer­tainty at moun­tain pass road­works

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

Un­cer­tainty con­tin­ues over planned road­works for the Caha Moun­tain Pass link­ing West Cork and parts of Kerry.

Both Cork and Kerry county coun­cils con­firmed plans, in Septem­ber last, for a 12night clo­sure of the spec­tac­u­lar county boundary which runs through three hand­hewn tun­nels.

But county coun­cil­lors in West Cork de­manded to know when the works would start and the tun­nels would close.

They are con­cerned the planned works will run into next year’s peak tourist sea-- Cllr Danny Collins, chair­man of the mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict coun­cil, asked engi­neers why pro­posed resur­fac­ing works had not been un­der­taken, as flagged, af­ter the Oc­to­ber Bank Holiday.

The Caha Pass tun­nel is on the N71 se­condary na­tional route be­tween Glen­gar­riff and Ken­mare.

Of­fi­cials said the de­ci­sion was pri­mar­ily a mat­ter for Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land (TII), for­mally the NRA, and that the coun­cil was act­ing as an agent.

“Peo­ple are on to me ev­ery week about this and when it is hap­pen­ing,” said Cllr Collins. “There’s a lot of peo­ple com­mut­ing both ways. We also have tourism to think about as well.

“Peo­ple want these road­works done now be­fore March, which is when the new tourism sea­son starts. They’re afraid it will be put off un­til May or June.

“I was told some months ago we would lose fund­ing if we didn’t do it be­fore the Oc­to­ber week­end,” he said.

Coun­cil of­fi­cials said they did not yet know, but as­sured Cllr Collins they would give mo­torists plenty of warn­ing and erect signs well be­fore the tun­nel ad­vis­ing on the starts-on. up dates for work and how long it was likely to take to com­plete.

Cllr Mary He­garty said she also had a num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tions. “Peo­ple will have to make ar­range­ments in ad­vance, It’s im­por­tant some com­mu­ni­ca­tion hap­pens,” she said.

Cllr Collins said it was im­por­tant that any resur­fac­ing works, ne­ces­si­tated by wa­ter ero­sion, were com­pleted by next St Pa­trick’s Day.

Cllr Joe Car­roll said many West Cork peo­ple be­lieved far bet­ter main­te­nance was avail­able on the Kerry side of the county bounds.

Cy­clists in the An Post Rás on Caha Pass, Co Kerry. West Cork coun­cil­lors fear planned work on the route will run into next year’s tourist sea­son.

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