The laying of sewage pipes in Clonaslee has hit construction problems, causing an extended closure of the Tullamore road that is causing “chaos” for locals.
The busy road is closed since January 10, and will not now be open until March 15, nine weeks of a disruption.
New pipes are being laid down the centre of the road near the town, but the entire road has been closed to traffic, except for local access from the Killeigh road end.
Cllr Seamus McDonald says people are frustrated.
“There is chaos here. This is a major road disruption. I welcome the upgrade of pipes to our new treatment plant that is one of the most modern in the country, but the diversion is confusing people trying to get to and fro from school. Now it is closed for three more weeks,” he said.
Drivers are being directed in a long detour by the areas of Cloonaghmore and Graigueafulla.
“Those roads are not able to take the extra traffic. They are narrow and in bad condition. There is a major concern over how an ambulance would get through,” he said.
The route is now made even worse by the extra traffic and recent storms.
“It is all ploughed up now with the bad weather. People are frustrated, cars are going into drains. This is disrupting maybe 150 people a day. The Tullamore road is used to access the primary and secondary school. There are two housing estates on the road,” he said.
Such is the concern that a petition is being circulated around Clonaslee.
“I have had about thirty phone calls over the past week, and a few hundred people have signed the petition,” he said.
He plans to ask Laois County Council to work over weekends to speed up the job, and let some traffic through on the road.
“I am meeting with the engineer to ask how we can reduce worries for people,” said Cllr McDonald.
The council website states that “Due to unforeseen circumstances this road closure will be extended for a further three weeks. The R422 will now be closed until Saturday the 15th March”.