A busy Portarlington road that serves a big secondary school on the Laois Offaly border must be upgraded because of ongoing flooding which has forced its closure several times in recent months, a county councillor had demanded.
Portarlington based Fianna Fáil Councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick called on Offaly County Council to seek and provide funding for the upgrade and maintenance of the Bog Road Portarlington which services the Edenderry road across to the R420 route at Kilmalogue Gracefield in the Town
Cllr Fitzpatrick said this route is constantly used by parents and school transport for students attending Colaiste Iosagain secondary school which has just over 1,000 students attending daily and in addition to this Oakdale Nursing home adjoins the school with over 70 staff employed.
Cllr Fitzpatrick said over the last few months this road has been closed to traffic on a number of occasions due to flooding from the Blackstick River. He said this issue also needs to be addressed by surveying and drainage of this river which feeds into the Barrow river at lower Patrick Street in the town and in recent times a school bus slipped into the drain because of the flooding on the road.
"The upgrading of the Bog road would provide an alternative option for local traffic travelling to and from the School daily and reduce the already congested traffic using Patrick Street," he said.
"Offaly County Council is now in the process of revising the Local Area Plan for Portarlington and this route must be prioritised for upgrading as a matter of urgency," said Cllr Fitzpatrick.
The road was also the location of an accident involving a school bus during a recent cold snap. The road closed last week after Storm Eleanor swept the country.
The road is not on the council's gritting run.