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Delays to Lewis road traffic management project continue

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By Sean Moriarty

How long does it take to place a few traffic bollards on the centre of a main road?

Well over a year if you are depending on Kerry County Council.

For several years the elected members of Killarney Municipal District have been calling for action on the Lewis Road intersection with the Killarney bypass.

The idea is that traffic leaving Lewis Road will no longer be allowed to cross the bypass road. Instead, motorists will have to turn left and make a U-turn at Cleeney Roundabout.

The same will apply to traffic entering the bypass from the Kilcummin/Coolcorcoran exit. Motorists will not be allowed to turn right at this junction but will have to turn left and make a U-turn at the MD O’Shea roundabout.

These are interim measures while a bigger project, including a new slip road east of the Kilcummin junction and a pedestrian underpass on the grounds of St Finan’s Hospital will form parts of the bigger plans. 

But the length of time it is taking to put the temporary measures in place does not bode well for the implementation of the full project.

In January this year local roads engineer Paul Curry told a Municipal District meeting: “We will install more pencil bollards and increased signage as an interim measure."

In May the Council pushed that plan out until the end of Quarter 3 – September 30 – which was last Friday. 

A Council official said in May: “Tender documents are currently being prepared to procure a contractor to carry out these works as the first of a number of safety improvement phases on the N22 at the Lewis Road and Kilcummin Road junctions. The works to modify Lewis Road junction to left-out only will be carried out in Q3 2022.”

Elected councillors, just like Killarney motorists, are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress.

This prompted Cllr Donal Grady to push for further information on the plan at the most recent Municipal meeting – which was held on September 22 – a little over a week before the previous promised deadline.

He asked: “That we Kerry County Council request an urgent update on the progress of the roundabout at the Lewis Road / By-Pass junction.”

In reply a Council official said: “A tender for the works to remove the right hand turn out of Lewis Road will be published in early October with a view to having works completed by the end of year. In relation to the proposed roundabout and link works, the land acquisition process is underway. Once the land has been acquired, the tender documents will be finalised and approval sought to publish the tender notice.”

So, a job that was to be completed by the end of September, and amounts to little more than placing a few bollards in the centre of the road and additional road markings, is only going out to tender this week.

Remember the social distancing rules that COVID-19 brought us – when bollards were placed on footpaths in every town in the county, almost overnight?

The Killarney Advertiser looks forward to the November Municipal District meeting to see what the latest development is on this never ending story.

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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