Wind turbine road was left in worst state

As one side of the county mounts a campaign to stop the construction of hundreds of wind turbines, another corner is still suffering the damage of building the huge structures.

As one side of the county mounts a campaign to stop the construction of hundreds of wind turbines, another corner is still suffering the damage of building the huge structures.

Eight turbines were built in the Killeshin Hills in 2010, now called Gortahile Wind Farm. Built by ABO Wind, they were sold later that year to BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners.

“There are serious issues on that road now, it’s a lot more than potholes on the road,” Cllr Padraig Fleming said at last week’s meeting of the Luggacurren area councillors.

He asked the council for an update on the current position with the wind farm regarding the repairs to the road in the Gortahile area.

“If they don’t do the job, Laois County Council will have to pick up the tab,” he said.

Area engineer, Orla Barrett, said she had asked the company to repair the potholes.

“Gortahile Wind Farm has been notified of the requirement to repair potholes and also asked to provide a point of contact for the members and residents for a meeting to discuss the situation further.”

Ms Barrett said she hadn’t heard back from the company.

“The Bog Road is impassable now,” Cllr Ben Brennan said, “the council had down great work on the roads up that way but that’s all gone down the drain now.”

“The road was pot hole free before construction started. They repaired the pot holes the following January and they were told that the road would have to be surfaced dressed to. They claim that there is no pot holes on the road and want the council to take it in charge now,” Ms Barrett explained to councillors.

“That road was built for horses and carts but they put 40 and 50 tonne lorries on it,” Cllr Brennan added.

Senior Engineer, Michael O’Hora suggested that the council do a video survey on the state of the road now, as one had been done before the work started.

But Ms Barret said the company had already done a video survey.

“They were required to do a video survery, six weeks after they finished. They patched the road, but as there was no surface dressing there was nothing to hold it,” she explained.

But she said the council would not accept this and she was continuing with her efforts to have the road put back to its original condition.

“I will take photos and e-mail them to the company,” she said.

Cllr James Daly said it was a major wake up call for the county.

“The ones proposed for Vicarstown and surrounding areas are three times the size of Gortahile. If a fraction of them go ahead it will cause a major headache.”

Ms Barrett said she had been giving feedback on the Gortahile Wind Farm to road design and the planning sections of Laois County Council for future reference.