A call has been made for better communication between Donegal County Council, Irish Water, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, businesses and the public to be included at an earlier stage when planning major works.
Cathaoirleach of the Stranorlar Municipal District Cllr Patrick McGowan said he been informed that Irish Water has awarded a county-wide rehabilitation contract which involves the replacement of 40km of pipework across 13 separate locations in Donegal.
The contract is commencing in September 2018 and pipe laying works will carry on for 14 months, which will generally run to the end of 2019.
The Ballybofey South backline towards Crossroads is one of the 13 sections of pipe.
Cllr McGowan said the contractor is developing a full programme of works in consultation with stakeholders, including Donegal County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
Work on the Ballybofey South backline is indicated to commence later this year and will continue until March 2019.
The consultation will include agreement on what measures are required for appropriate traffic management. He said Irish Water intends to regularly update Elected Representatives of progress and of detailed programme dates for each section of pipework as they become known.
Cllr McGowan said businesses and the public included in traffic planning at an earlier stage by way of town hall meetings and or a leaflet drop prior to any contract being signed so that the public concerns can be incorporated not left to the good will of an contractor after the contract has already been agreed and signed .
“There is a massive difference between road works in a busy town streets and works to a country road but in recent years I don’t see where the road traffic managment plans cater sufficiently for all the obvious concerns,” he said.
“I have raised this issue with senior council officials and will be raising it again at the next council roads SPC meeting to get some common sense included in what should be a win win for everyone.
“We all lobby to get roads and other infrastructure investment in our areas but I don’t see any reason why all possible consideration should not given to traffic management and the effect on the wider community at a earlier stage as opposed to hit and miss consultation just as the contracts starts.” .
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