THE MAIN Enniskillen to Dublin road is “an absolute disgrace” and Road Service has used “every excuse you can imagine” for why it has not been fixed.
That was the view of local Cllr Barry Doherty when asked about the ongoing issues on the Derrylin Road at Derryhowlaght. This particularly stretch of road, where work was started and not finished, was one of the main sources of anger when the Herald recently published an outline of the Road Service’s draft programme for the coming years.
In that programme, the Roads Service said the 800m stretch on the A509 was a £1.2m project and the second phase was due to be carried out in March 2019, dependent on money being available. The Department of Infrastructure said the said alignment work was needed to improve safety for all road users.
Cllr Doherty said, however, the road had been in the programme for works for the past six or seven years, and no money had become available in that time.
“That stretch of road at Derryhowlaght has a history, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say people have been calling for something to be done for close to 30 years,” he said, adding he had been pushing for it the entire time he’s been on the Council.
Cllr Doherty continued: “Every excuse you can imagine has been dragged out for that stretch of road.
“First we were told they didn’t have the money to finish it. Then we were told what it actually needs to sit for another 18 months so that blinding that is piled up either the side of the road can cause the ground underneath it to compact.”
Stating he had sympathy with the Roads Service, which is working within a reduced budget, he added: “It’s basically an absolute disgrace.”
Cllr Doherty also pointed out people should contact the Department of Infrastructure directly to voice their displeasure, explaining the Council had no control over when the work would be done.
“Contacting the newspapers and contacting the public reps, that’s great and a fantastic first step. But say 20 people contact me, and I contact Road Service on their behalf, at the end of the day Road Service only has to ignore one person. If everyone contacts them, then they will see it is needed.”
Agency now says work may not be completed until 2020
In its latest correspondence with the Herald, the Department of Infrastructure now says the work will recommence on the road early next year, and the resurfacing will take place next month.
“Preliminary earthworks at A509 Belllnaleck to Derrylin Road at Derryhowlaght is being undertaken in phases to expedite the settlement and consolidation of soft underlying soils prior to undertaking the road reconstruction,” said a Department spokesman.
“The last phase of this preliminary work is expected to be undertaken in March 2019 and it is anticipated that, subject to funding, the road improvement scheme will be completed within the 2019-2020 financial year.
“However, some temporary surfacing repair works will be undertaken in January to improve the condition of the road in the interim.”
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