Nearly €1 million to fix for weather-damaged roads in Laois

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois roads melting in the heat are being gritted by council

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Laois is getting almost €1 million to repair weather-damaged following storms and the summer heatwave.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD today announced additional allocations to local authorities under a new ‘Special Maintenance Grant’ to assist in the repair of regional and local roads damaged by severe weather events.

In total, €15 million is being awarded to help local authorities in progressing repairs to affected regional and local roads before year end.

Laois County Council is getting €956,000 under the scheme which will see just over €15 million spent nationally. Only Cork and Galway are getting bigger grants than Laois.

 “In deciding on the allocations I was very conscious of the fact that in certain areas of the country the fabric of the regional and local road network has suffered significant damage as a result of severe weather events and that in some cases local authorities have been faced with damage caused by repeated severe weather incidents," said Minister Ross.

He said he was pleased to be able to provide additional funding support of €15m to assist local authorities in progressing repairs to affected regional and local roads before year end.

A statement said extreme weather events over the last year, such as Storm Eleanor, Storm Emma, flooding incidents and the summer drought have had a major impact on the regional and local road network.

It added that these events combined with the extended period of reduced funding for road maintenance following the economic downturn have left the road network much more vulnerable to damage.

An extra €3m allocation is also being provided to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to assist with winter operations and maintenance works on national roads. TII assists local authorities with maintenance funding for national roads.

Minsiter Ross said the additional funding increases the regional and local road budget in 2018 from €417m to €432m which represents an increase of 33% on the 2017 investment.

"I would also like to emphasise once again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and to decide their work programmes. I further wish to explain that these grants are to supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local roads and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year,” he said.

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