A slip road off the N5, costing an estimated €150,000 to €200,000, is what Longford Town Councillors are seeking to alleviate what they describe as a traffic hazard at Lisbrack Road. Collectively, they’re seeking a deputation with the Minister for Transport to ensure that it’s built.
Cllr Michael Connellan, who first proposed the extra route some weeks ago, said the extra road is aimed at taking heavy vehicular traffic that accesses the plant away from the residential areas of Demesne and Lisbrack.
Cllr Connellan raised the issue at the recent Town Council meeting and received widespread support for his proposal. He said that the people of Demesne, Lisbrack, Rugby View and Mullagh are unaware that the slip road is not incorporated into the planned N5 bypass.
“When the bypass is in place, they’ll all ask the simple question, ‘why are these open tankers and sewage tankers still going through residential areas to access the sewerage treatment plant?’,” Cllr Connellan said. Cllr Mae Sexton said the salt barn, which was planned to be built at the council yard, should now be built at the sewage treatment plant. This barn, she said, could then also be accessed via the slip road.
When Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar was in Longford recently to turn the sod on the N5 bypass, he indicated that he would look favourably on an application for further funding for the slip road. However, Cllr Connellan said that no submission has been made as yet by Longford County Council in relation to the funding. He asked for a deputation to go to meet the minister to specifically seek the funding. Failing that, he asked that the Co Council make a submission for funding, as Mr Varadkar advised. This was supported by Cllr Sexton. Meanwhile, a bridge deemed to be structurally deficient remains open to use by heavy vehicles. The three-tonne weight limit has done little to sway heavy traffic from using the route, according to local councillors, who have called on officials to carry out the remedial works required.
In a letter to the Town Council, Director of Services Ciaran Murphy outlined the difficulties with Mullagh Bridge, located on the link road between the N5 and the Battery Road, which provides a crossing over the River Camlin. Mr Murphy said that the NRA, following a recent study, placed a weight restriction of three tonne on the road, but given that it’s an unofficial bypass of the town for traffic travelling to the west, he said there is an urgent need to carry out remedial works to resolve the problem.
In the interim, an additional three tonne weight restriction has been placed on the bridge. Options being considered include placing barriers to prevent heavy goods vehicles from using the structure or possibly a road closure while the N5 bypass is being constructed.
The estimated cost of repairing the bridge is €400,000.