Bridge of sighs as new Ferrybank roadworks begin
Get ready for more traffic delays on the 'Rocky Road' to Castlebridge as Wexford County Council embarks on another upgrade project from Wexford Bridge to the Crosstown junction.
For the next two months, a combination of traffic lights and a manual stop 'n' go system will operate with the local authority advising motorists to 'expect long delays, especially during peak times' and to 'use alternative routes if possible'.
Works have been taking place on the Castlebridge road on a regular basis since 2013 when a main drainage extension was installed followed by resurfacing works costing over €1 million during 2015 and 2016, leading to complaints about constant traffic disruption.
This week, the Council announced a new phase of road improvement works costing €328,000 which will be met by Government funding and will require single lane traffic restrictions for an extended period at the height of the tourist season.
The contract will start with the installation over several weeks of new footpaths, drainage and ducting connections to facilitate future upgrades of ESB and broadband services, according to senior Wexford engineer Sean Kavanagh,and traffic management will be in place from 8 am to 5 pm.
When this work has been completed, the road will be fully re-surfaced at night-time over a period of about a week.
'We are doing the footpaths in sections and we are hoping to be finished by early September prior to the schools re-opening,' said Mr. Kavanagh, adding that he doesn't expect the road works to create significantly longer delays on the bridge which is, however, already close to 'traffic saturation'. The R741 is the busiest regional artery into Wexford with annual average traffic of 10,000 a day.
'In June, we converted the lights on the bridge to vehicle actuation rather than fixed time which means they change in response to the level of traffic. We will be monitoring that during the road works and we also have plans for further improvement later in the year.'
'We will monitor the traffic for the duration of the roadworks to ensure that traffic delays are kept to a minimum.'
When this section is completed, another 1 km stretch of road from the Crosstown junction to the Nissan garage, will remain to be done. 'That will be subject to a funding allocation in 2018,' said Mr. Kavanagh.
Colm Campbell, the general Manager of the Riverbank House Hotel said he accepted that roadworks must be carried out at some stage but having endured disruption throughout last year, it's regrettable that Ferrybank businesses have to be affected again.
'It's really outside our door this time. You have to ask why it wasn't done last year. Hopefully, we can update the Council on how it is affecting us.'
'We are hoping our customers will continue to support us during this new period of traffic disruption,' he said.