A truck driving through Mountmellick on the N80. Photo: Lynda Kiernan
A Laois town that is a bottleneck for national traffic is bracing itself for months of roadworks.
From Monday, July 11, over three months of road improvement works will begin in Mountmellick on the N80 road.
The busy town centre road which takes some 10,000 vehicles and trucks a day, is showing "structural failures" in sections say Laois County Council.
It means that they have to remove and relaying sections of the road surface where needed.
It will be done in three phases, with the final phase taking place at night time.
First to be reconstructed is Irishtown, a 2.5km stretch between the Glanbia T-junction and Anngrove Stud roundabout on the Portlaoise road.
Work will take place between 7am and 7pm and traffic will be diverted around by Patrick Street and the hospital road, with only local residents given access. Footpaths will not be affected by the roadworks.
The council expects this phase to take some three weeks.
Phase 2 is works from the Anngrove Stud Irishtown Roundabout to the Junction of N80 and the R423 at Derrycloney bridge. The works on this section will also be day works from 7:00am to 7:00pm. Traffic will be diverted around by Portlaoise and Emo for the duration of this phase.
The final phase is on the main street, from Glanbia up to O'Moore Street roundabout.
"The works on this section will be night works and will be carried out from 7pm to 6am," Laois County Council has stated.
Roadstone Ltd. are the main contractors and the works will take approximately 15 weeks to complete, including repainting.
"Various temporary traffic management arrangements will be in place for the duration of the works with a particular focus on local, one-way traffic systems where possible. As works progress interim traffic management plans will be available on the Laois County Council website. Alternative routes will be fully sign posted. Further updates will issue as the various phases are completed. Local access will be retained but there may be interim interruptions. Pedestrians will not be subject to diversions."
The traffic clogged town is recommended by experts as needing new Western and Eastern relief roads, in a study commissioned by the council and given to the Transport Infrastructure Ireland back in 2020, with the council pushing the need for the bypass.
However the project was never placed on the National Development plan which lasts until 2027, the first step to qualify for Government funding.
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