Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has moved to assure the Athlone public that roads in disrepair around the town will be restored by the weekend.
Locals were left angry regarding the state of roads in the town, including Church Street, in the wake of works undertaken by Irish Water throughout the Christmas period.
“There is a lot of questions being asked about the state of the roads in and around Athlone. Irish Water are carrying out testing and with the poor weather Athlone has been cut up very badly,” Minister Moran said on Wednesday of this week.
“It has caused some friction with local people and traders, which I can totally understand. We all know how important the traders are to Athlone, and also the many shoppers who want to come to the town, so the situation has not been ideal. The motorists as well that pay their motor tax deserve a lot more, but I can say that the situation is coming to an end now.”
Minister Moran said the works being undertaken by Irish Water concern not just the Church Street project but also the drainage system in Athlone.
“Not to excuse it, but the reason for the amount of work going on now is twofold. It concerns both the Church Street project and the drainage network in Athlone. We have started work in Athlone to do with flood defences, but significant government investment is being made to sort the town’s drainage system. It is essential that we take care of the drainage works before the one-way system comes into play so that we are not returning later to dig up the roads again.
“Athlone is known as a combined drainage system, and when you have that system you have sewage water with any flooding that occurs. As many people in The Strand and other areas know from the flooding in 2015/2016, that can cause real issues. There were people in areas that literally had sewage water sweeping in through their houses, and this is something we have to deal with.
“That is the main cause of the works at present, but we want to ease the fear of the people by bringing this to a close this weekend.”