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Main road to Cavan ‘could be closed over the winter’

Roads

Wattlebridge Road

THE main road between Lisnaskea and Cavan could be forced to close permanently in the winter if it continues to subside, a local councillor has warned.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Thomas O’Reilly said that there was a big danger that the Wattlebridge Road, Newtownbutler would “slip completely”.
Mr O’Reilly was responding to a letter received by the Council from the Department for Infrastructure, which stated that the ground conditions on the road were very poor and would “always be subject to movement and subsidence”.
In the correspondence, Acting Divisional Roads Manager, David McKinley, promised that they would revisit the site in the near future to carry out resurfacing aimed at alleviating the unevenness of the road.
“As part of this work we intend to lay steel mesh within the new surfacing to try and prevent any further splitting of the road surface. Note that the road is likely to continue to move and settle, in the long term,” he stated.
Mr McKinley added that the Wattlebridge Road would continue to be inspected on a regular basis.
However, Sinn Fein councillor Mr O’Reilly told the meeting that the Department needed to show more urgency in dealing with the matter.
Mr O’Reilly proposed for the Council to put some pressure on the DfI to expedite the matter.
“I appreciate it’s not something concerning everyone in the Council area but for the people that live there and for the tourists that come in, it is a major problem that could, when the rainy season comes, wash away that road and leave us with a permanently-closed road in the winter time,” he added.
His proposal was seconded by the UUP’s Victor Warrington.
Meanwhile, Paul Robinson, of the DUP, told the meeting that the Wattlebridge Road was the “main thoroughfare” between Cavan and Enniskillen.
“There’s been a lot of people on to me complaining about it,” he said.
Mr Robinson added, “There’s going to have to be a big job done on it because no matter how much tar they put on it, it’s going to sink again.”
Sinn Fein councillor Barry Doherty further proposed asking the Department if there was funding available for the work to be carried out.
Mr Doherty said: “At the present moment in time, everything keeps getting pushed back and back and really it’s not acceptable.”

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