Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice, has described the closure of an 800-metre stretch of the N60 Roscommon to Castlerea road from next Monday (16th) as “unnecessary”.
The road will be closed to traffic travelling in both directions for a six-week period, something Cllr. Fitzmaurice believes will cause huge disruption for motorists.
“The approved route while these works are taking place is the R367 from Ballintubber to Castleplunkett and Tulsk, which is a very long way around. Unfortunately, there are no decent roads near to this closure.
“I’m not happy with this because no other national route would be closed for six weeks. It’s a huge inconvenience for people and there will be those who use what are called ‘unapproved routes’. This will put terrible pressure on local roads,” he said.
The Castlerea-based councillor said he believes the disruption could have been avoided.
“The opening of this new road and the realignment works will be very welcome by me and everyone else but I’m disappointed that the road couldn’t have been kept open during this six-week period. A stop-go system could have been put in place or half the road could have been built, leaving the other half for traffic.
“The work could also have been carried out at night or at quieter periods like weekends. I think we’ve been given a poor option here,” he said.
Kevin Geoghegan, executive engineer with the Roscommon National Roads Regional Office in Roscommon town, has advised motorists using the road prior to the closure point to take the official diversionary route onto the R367.
This route gives access to Ballintubber, Castleplunkett, Tulsk and the N61 to Roscommon.
He confirmed that works on the entire new route are expected to be completed by June 22nd 2020.