Westmeath County Council is no longer responsible for the maintenance of its 80km of motorway after the NRA centralised this task in June.
This was revealed at this month’s meeting of the Mullingar Area Committee on Monday (September 9 ) in an updated report from Michael Connolly from the transportation section.
Though the contract was worth in the region of €300,000 per annum, this money had been drawn down from the Department of Transport prior to June, and consequently will not be a saving on the county’s budget.
However, in light of the moratorium on public sector hiring, this move will release a number of general operatives for other public work around the county.
In his report, Mr Connolly revealed that Irish motorways increased tenfold in the 10 years from 2001, and that the present total of 1,224 km exists more than is in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
The NRA awarded the maintenance of Westmeath motorways to a joint venture called Colas Roadbridge, which is based at two service depots just off Junction 2 Kinnegad, and Junction 7, Moate West.
As is NRA policy, both these depots have a 1,000-tonne salt store for winter gritting, with the Kinnegad site also holding a 10,000-tonne resilience store for the region.
Earlier, Cllr Mick Dollard raised the question as to whether the NRA could put in place signs for Mullingar at the new roundabout at The Downs, and was told that this signage “has now been procured and erected”.
His party colleague Cllr Denis Leonard enquired as to whether the NRA could repair the roadside crash barriers at the Coralstown bridge, and at Mary Lynch’s and was told that the council has yet to discuss this with the NRA