The estimated cost of the new Four Lane road project in Letterkenny has doubled to between four and five million euro with much of the work taking place late at night.
The contract works for the N56 safety improvements will go to tender in the first half of 2020.
The major road upgrade is expected to take around 20 months to complete. Significant night-time works are being proposed to minimise disruption on Letterkenny’s main access route over the next two years.
As a result, Donegal County Council says the value of the contract works is now estimated to be €4-€5million – a jump from the original €2million estimation. Full funding is being provided by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
With construction works due to get underway in Autumn 2020, Cllr Ciaran Brogan is now calling for the project to be reviewed.
Speaking in the Letterkenny-Milford District meeting, Cllr Brogan sought the establishment of a working group to discuss the possibility of bringing a main sewer to Bonagee as part of the works.
However, the council said that the extensive excavation and installation works for a main sewer would be “undesirable from a construction and engineering viewpoint” due to the soft ground under the existing road.
Irish Water carried out watermain works in the area last year, but they have no further plans to bring a new sewer to Bonagee.
Cllr Brogan said that the lack of main sewer in Bonagee is a major issue for businesses and residents. He said they are tired of waiting on the infrastructure that was promised 20 years ago.
“I believe there are over 40 businesses out there paying rates to Donegal County Council and some of them are asking what for,” Cllr Brogan said.
Cllr Brogan said it would “make huge economic sense to carry out this work” and asked for a working group to be established to bring together representatives from Irish Water, the Director of Roads in the district, Economic Development, all Senior Managers and business owners near the Four Lane.
He warned that “history will not be kind to Donegal County Council” if they proceed with the Four Lane and don’t add a main sewer.
A number of councillors expressed their reservations about reviewing the project at a late stage.
Cllr McBride said he is fully supportive of bringing a sewer to the area, but the local authority cannot jeopardise the TII funding.
“I would be very careful about suspending the Four-Lane job,” Cllr Michael McBride said. “It’s Exchequer funding we are looking at. If it’s not spent in Donegal it will be spent somewhere else.”
Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said he accepted where Cllr Brogan was coming from, but believes that the project should go ahead to address safety issues on the N56. “Safety is paramount,” Cllr Kavanagh said.
Meanwhile, Cllr Gerry McMonagle said it would be a “no brainer for Irish Water to piggyback on the works.”
Donegal County Council Director of Services, Liam Ward, acknowledged that the Four Lane project is proposed to proceed, but the executive will be happy to bring a group together to engage with Irish Water on the matter of the sewer.Tags: