ONGOING work on a £220,000 upgrade of Lisnaskea main street and footpaths is causing major headaches for local businesses.
The SuperValu store is claiming that the subsequent traffic disruption is driving away customers. Its owner, Stephen Swift estimates that takings have dropped by 30 per cent since work began a few weeks ago.
“It’s definitely hitting us badly. Obviously, at this time of year, there’s a little bit of a lull, but this is beyond any loss we ever had. We are having to send staff home early.”
Mr Swift welcomed the upgrade scheme, as did the local Assembly member, Sean Lynch.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr Lynch said a balance had to be struck.
“Certainly, it’s a very welcome project which we have been waiting for, for many years, but there is some work that needs to be done during the day because it’s having a huge impact on local businesses.”
He suggested that the traffic hold-ups will become more acute when the schools re-open next Monday.
He commented: “I believe that some of the work could be taken on during the night, or bring in extra workers.”
Stephen Swift is in favour of the work being carried out at night, even though that will entail a 30 per cent increase in the contract price.
“The reality is it’s going to have a bigger impact for us than the 30 per cent increase in overheads for the Roads Service.”
Yesterday, Tuesday, a spokesman for Roads Service told the Herald that the scheme is on target to be completed by the end of September.
But, she added: “This type of work is very susceptible to weather dependent.”
Asked when the main street would be closed off between 7pm and 7am to allow tarmacking, she explained that, because of the weather factors, final dates had not been finalised for the night time closures for the final surface layer.
“It will, however, be the last five to eight days of the work.”
Can the work be done at night?
The spokesman replied: “The present method of carrying out the preparatory works to raise the kerbs and footways prior to laying the final coat is seen as the best compromise between the impact the works have on the interests of the business community and the many residents that live on the Main Street.
“The final surface layer will also require a full closure of the road, with diversion of all traffic.”
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