The approximate schedule of the next sequence of works to take place in Killeagh as part of the N25 Pavement Strengthening Scheme has been published by the Cork County Council National Roads Office, but residents of Killeagh and surrounding communities are still frustrated by the traffic management solutions.
The East Cork Journal has been shown a correspondence outlining the sequence of works that will take place in Killeagh and the updated traffic management solutions. Flagmen will now be in operation between 6.30am-7.30pm on weekdays, with additional variable message signs erected on both approaches to Killeagh to inform motorists of the expected queuing times. During night time hours, a traffic light system will be in operation, while the weeks will see a combination of a traffic light system supplemented during peak hours on Sunday by flagmen. Due to the completion of works on the western side of the village, the length of the traffic management system will be reduced, resulting in shorting queuing times.
However these solutions may not satisfy all motorists who pass through the area.
“When it's a stop/go with a worker controlling it,” said Niamh Lavin Roche, “there's maybe a ten-minute wait but [it] seems to run fine. But at the weekend when it's controlled by traffic lights it's a disaster. It took me 35 minutes one Sunday to get from Youghal to Glenbower Woods.”
In an effort to avoid delays some, like Therese Power Hickey, reroute their journey through the back road. “[The] works should be carried out by night,” said Ms Power Hickey. “Road surfaces on both back roads are disgraceful as well as the temporary surface in Killeagh. No one wants to take the back roads but sometimes the traffic is so backed up there is no choice. Our cars are getting destroyed.”
Others simply try and avoid the area entirely.
“I avoid Killeagh as much as possible now,” said Lorraine McGrath. “I used always stop on the way to Youghal. I take back road through towards Ballymacoda.”
The N25 Killeagh village Pavement Strengthening Scheme commenced last September, with the works slated to last for approximately nine months. MEIC LTD are the main contractors for the works, the contract of which is valued at approximately €3 million and covers a distance of about 1,200 metres along the N25 National Primary Route at Killeagh Village.
Some in the area call for patience, feeling that the works were a long time coming and much sought after.
“People were giving out over the state of the village and now that it is being fixed they are all whining and moaning again,” said Tricia Hegarty. “I see it every day: people driving through red lights, shouting abuse at the workers. […] And for those of you who are saying it should be done during the night I'd like to see ye deal with loud noises outside your window most nights for months on end.”
Helen Kennedy, an officer of Killeagh/Inch Community Council, echoed those sentiments. “I think the work is going very well considering the amount of work there is to do,” said Ms Kennedy. “It is inconvenient for us, but they are on-site and working all the time. They have been very accommodating and they are making good progress. It is like the old saying: you can’t have an omelette without breaking an egg or two. We can’t have our streets beautifully updated without some inconveniences. I sympathise with all the people who are held up every day and who are frustrated, but I’d ask them to be patient. The workers are doing their best, and it’s not forever. Another few months, yes, but not forever.”
The correspondence shown to the East Cork Journal stated that this sequence of works began on Friday, 3 February and will run through to Friday, 3 March. It should be noted that the complexity and sensitive nature of the works, combined with the current weather conditions, may affect the published dates.
Works from Killeagh House to St. Fergal's National School include storm network, watermain, and road reconstruction and laying the binder course of macadam (the second of three courses), are hoped to be finished by Saturday, 11 February. There will be no parking on the southern side of the road, but on Monday, 13 February.
Works on the Eastbound Carriageway is hoped to commence on Monday, 13 February until Saturday, 25 February, and will include bulk excavation work, and road reconstruction including the binder course of the macadam from St. Fergal’s NS to the bridge. Additional works on the northern footpath from the Mogeely junction to the bridge are then hoped to begin on 13 February and be complete for Friday, 3 March.
The archaeological excavation being carried out opposite the Community Centre and Church of Ireland graveyard were hoped to be complete this past Tuesday, 7 February, allowing for the same works to be carried out on the section ranging from the community centre to the Woodview junction, which are to be completed by 18 February.