Roads projects could be curtailed due to rising costs

Cllr Christy Hyland

Cllr Christy Hyland

The head of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District, Padraig Walsh, told councillors at their March meeting, which took place this week, that he could see some roads projects in the district being curtailed due to rising costs of materials and fuel.

Independent councillor Christy Hyland raised his concerns at the meeting where the councillors adopted their road works programme for the year, which has a budget of €8.5 million.

Mr Walsh said that while he does not believe that any of the planned works will be cancelled in total, there might be some curtailment of the length of works the council can carry out under their programme, if things continue as they are.

He told the members: "Unless something positive comes out of eastern Europe very quickly there will be a lot of price volatility and it will impact the programme. I have no indication of any supplementary funding being made available and I don’t know if that’s a possibility at all.

"I don’t see a situation where any project will not take place. But I can see a situation where projects will be curtailed. You may have 1,600 metres of surface dressing and you will have to pull it back by 100 metres because bitumen prices will vary, as will the haulage of chip because of the price of diesel.

"Costs will change and we will have to respond to that to stay within budget. It may mean some curtailment of individual projects but I cannot see a situation where projects will not happen.

"Obviously, we will have to stay within our budget and that will be a challenge by how often prices fluctuate. In terms of road works it will be a year like no other I have experienced."

Cllr Hyland, responding to the outlook from Mr Walsh, said that he couldn't see the council being able to deliver on all plans in its current budget and that there needed to be extra funding from government to ensure the plans are followed through.

 

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