20 May 2022

Council 'frustrated' at delays on Portlaoise footpath makeover

Council 'frustrated' at delays on Portlaoise footpath makeover

Council 'frustrated' at delays on Portlaoise footpath makeover, pictured during a previous delay.

Work to upgrade footpaths in Portlaoise town has been hit with more delays.

Tower Hill and Church Street are getting a €680,000 stylish makeover to fit in with the 16th century military fort and Fitzmaurice Place's biodiverse public garden.

Work began last October and was expected to be complete this March but it is still going on.

Laois County Council Portlaoise Town Manager Simon Walton has explained why.

"No-one is as frustrated as myself over Tower Hill. There are problems with the availablity of pavers. I'll give you a full update at the next Portlaoise Municipal District meeting in April," he said.

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley raised the issue to him at the March meeting of Laois County Council.

"When will work finish on Tower Hill? It is so slow," she said.

Last November, Portlaoise trader Jack Nolan had complained on social media that the work was going "at a snail's pace".

"No parking coming into the busiest weeks of the year. No consultations or updates with traders," he claimed. 

At that time, the delay was attributed to archeological finds at the base of the fort walls, which included an English soldier's button and pottery. 

The job includes new limestone footpaths, undergrounding of overhead wires, attractive street planting, parking spaces and new streetlighting. 

More conservation works are to follow on the Old Fort wall itself, while the footpaths will be wider with crossing zones for pedestrians of all abilities, including a controlled pedestrian crossing near Tower Hill roundabout leading to schools.

The works are Phase II of the Portlaoise Cultural Quarter Fort Protector. 

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