Bull Lane resurfacing among planned works in Portlaoise
Roadwords will start in several areas around Portlaoise Main Street, immediately after the easing of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.
The works are to make the town better accessible by foot, bike or wheelchair, and more attractive for visitors.
Laois County Council management hopes that by the time the town is fully back in business, the work “will be substantially underway”.
The Main Street is to get a new raised pedestrian crossing from Bull Lane to Hynds Square, a pedestrianised shopping square.
There will also be a “rehabilitation of Bull Lane” which runs from Lyster Square to Main Street, replacing the uneven paved surface with imprinted asphalt. It will get new paths, bollards removed and street furniture decluttered, new signage underground ducting for future new lighting and drainage. The paving in Hynds Square will be cleaned.
Phase 2 of Fort Protector works will also start. Phase I was the upgrade of Fitzmaurice Place into a landscaped garden, and restoration of the fort wall beside it. The second phase includes undergrounding of ESB cables, reconstruction and widening of footpaths, pedestrian crossings, further restoration of the fort wall, lighting upgrades and soft landscaping “to harmonise with materials in Fitzmaurice Place (pictured below).
Laois County Council Director of Services Simon Walton said they are upgrading the walkway from the Midlands Park Hotel on Jessop Street, right through to Lyster Square.
“The existing condition of Bull Lane is a cause for intervention. It will form an upgraded link from Midlands Park Hotel through Hinds Square. It is a big priority.
“We will commence both as soon as the restrictions are lifted. I know they will cause inconvenience but we hope to have the work substantially underway by the time of the full reopening of society. Obviously we will recommence work on the library then too,” the director said.
He adds that there will be dropped kerbs and pedestrian points to make the town more accessible for people with disabilities or mobility issues.
The Bull Lane project is funded through Fáilte Ireland’s Destination Towns grant, and the council’s own roads budget. The Fort Protector work is paid for with an Urban Regeneration grant.
He explained the works to Portlaoise Municipal District councillors, at their January meeting.
Cllr Thomasina Connell said Bull Lane’s paved surface has caused “near misses”.