Uncertainty at mountain pass roadworks
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.