Members of the Westport Electoral Area Committee this week expressed their concerns that works that are due to start in Kilbride and Knockbregga on the N59 Westport to Mulranny improvement scheme will have a negative impact on the Great Western Greenway into the summer season next year. The committee were given a presentation by Pat Staunton of the Mayo National Roads Design Office on the overall scheme which went to Part 8 Planning on August 30 last. Staunton told the members that the Knockbregga and Kilbride stretch was ready to proceed in the very near future, and that tenders were being opened this week by the council for that stretch of road, and a nine month period of works was planned as the improvements were put in place. He told the members that it was hoped to have the approval for that stretch at the November meeting of the committee, and then at the full council meeting that month, with works starting after that.
Cllr Peter Flynn asked: “Can the section of work that will see the Greenway be finished off be completed first? We have a wonderful attraction there and we don’t want people to be put off because there is roadworks in that area and it’s not completed properly, nine months of work will bring us right into the summer season next year.”
Cllr Christy Hyland also stressed this point saying: “It vital that that part of the work is fast forwarded, we’re a tourist area and this is a major tourist attraction.”
Staunton told the members: “We don’t have that power, it’s down to the contractors to decided what is done and when. But we will be working with them to find the best solution possible, we can divert the Greenway further away from the works down an alternate route while the works are taking place. It will be next July before the works are completed and when it’s done we’ll have the final piece ready to go for the Greenway and the road.”
Cllr Margaret Adams asked what the situation would be for motorists who were using the road between Newport and Westport and whether there would be much disruption to them. Staunton told the meeting: “There will be traffic management on the road, using traffic lights, and there will be disruption to them during the works. But when it’s done, there will be a marked improvement for the motorists.”