The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe TD, announced that €106 million is being earmarked to repair damages done to the transport infrastructure. The amount was agreed with by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD. The money will be used to fix roads and bridges, along with rail networks that have been damaged by the winter’s storms.
Minister Donohoe said: ‘The most extensive impact of the recent severe weather on the transport sector has been on the road network through both pluvial and fluvial flooding. There has also been some damage to rail infrastructure. This resulted in serious disruption to daily life in many areas and in some cases, the isolation of small communities and households across the country’.
The funding will be allocated based on projects nominated made by local authorities. County councils have been providing the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with lists of projects for both short-term releif and long-term repair. The scale of the damage, along with the susbtantial costs accrued have required a cross-Departmental response, with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government taking the lead in responding the immediate call for relief from Local Authorities following the storms and flooding.
Minister Donohoe said that his officials are currently in the process of reviewing estimates submitted by local Authorities. “My Department will be engaging closely with Local Authorities to put together work programmes. This funding will also include for preventative works on key roads across the country. The aim will be to ensure that critical repairs are addressed as quickly as possible,” he said.
The minister acknowledged that roads between Avoca and Rathdrum in Co. Wicklow, and around Crosskeys in Cavan as being in urgent need of repair, along with a bridge in Stradbally and Four Masters Bridge in Leitrim.
Minister Donohoe said, “the Government fully recognises the scale of the damage and the disruption to people’s lives. In affected areas, damage to transport infrastructure has included road subsidence, failure of bridges and culverts, failure of embankments and serious ravelling of road edges and pavements. Local authorities need assistance to deal with all of this and the money earmarked today will provide that financial support.
“I would like, once again, to acknowledge the tremendous work of all concerned during the storms and flooding to ensure that warning signs were in place, diversion routes organised and signposted and information and advice made available to the public via websites, social media and local radio together with the great work done at community level.”