Portlaoise schools road to reopen but more disruption likely

THE long running traffic congestion on the Borris Road in Portlaoise due to Laois County Council’s construction works could finally be coming to an end, with the council promising to open the road to two-way traffic this Friday (October 12).

THE long running traffic congestion on the Borris Road in Portlaoise due to Laois County Council’s construction works could finally be coming to an end, with the council promising to open the road to two-way traffic this Friday (October 12).

However, while this signals a relief for both the local residents and the many frustrated parents trying to access the nearby schools, the headaches of long traffic jams could well arise again next year as the council will be carrying out further works along this stretch of road in summer 2013.

Senior engineer with Laois County Council, Mr Tom O’Carroll has confirmed that the council expect to open the road this Friday, although there are still a few weeks’ work to be completed.

“It’s a good wide road, so we can close off a section and work on it and then close off another,” he said.

Speaking to the Leinster Express, Mr O’Carroll explained that the final phase of the project, which is geared toward improving the Borris Road from the entrance of Forest Park up to the secondary schools located near The Hermitage, will “hopefully” be completed next year.

Although the remaining stretch of road is “a good bit longer” than the section already completed, Mr O’Carroll said the final phase should cause less disruption to motorists and locals.

“The bridge was the problem this time, it was impossible to open the road, but it should be easier next year,” he said.

One of the reasons offered by Laois County Council as to the late start of this year’s work was the fact that roadworks had to first be carried out at Colliers Lane.

Mr O’Carroll has explained that the construction at Colliers was actually outstanding works from the previous year, and he said that it is expected to commence earlier in the summer on the final phase in 2013.

The engineer has confirmed that the council intend to wait until the school exams are finished at the end of next June before beginning, with the plan being to complete the work section by section.

However, Mr O’Carroll has revealed that the final phase is dependant on available funding, which will not be known until next year.