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28/10/2021

Disruption ahead as €680,000 facelift of Portlaoise historic zone begins

Disruption ahead for €680,000 facelift of Portlaoise historic zone

Church street roundabout in Portlaoise set for facelift

Work to improve the image of a historic street in Portlaoise will cause 'huge disruption" to residents but will be "a brilliant job", a local councillor says.

A €680,000 upgrade of the streets near the town's 15th century Fort Protector and St Peter's Church has begun.

Roads around the Tower Hill roundabout including Church Street will get new limestone footpaths, the undergrounding of ugly overhead wires, new attractive street planting and new streetlighting. 

There will also be a second stage of conservation works to the Old Fort wall itself, and 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. The aim is to improve the visual setting and presentation of Portlaoise's historic cultural centre for visitors.

"Materials and finishes to harmonize with the materials in used at Fitzmaurice Place," Laois County Council say.

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley is delighted at the work, but warns of the disruption to residents. 

She walked the area to hear about the works with Laois County Council engineer Paul McLoughlin.

"I welcome it, it's brilliant. There will be huge disruption to residents but a letter is going out to them. It will be a fantastic job when it is done I have no doubt. They hope to eventually continue it to the train station, so visitors arriving to Portlaoise will get a great first impression of the town," she told the Leinster Express. 

She adds that it is hoped to build the pedestrian crossing during the October mid term break to avoid disruption to schoolgoing traffic. 

Below: the reconstructed Fitzmaurice Place.

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