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Seven year wait for new outer bypass road

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BYPASS: Cllr Kelleher, who has since been elected Mayor of Kerry, pictured earlier this year at the Lewis Road Junction. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Sean Moriarty

Newly elected municipal councillors for Killarney have vowed to keep the pressure on central Government in an effort to get the much needed northern relief road into construction phase – which could take up to seven or more years to complete.

Back in 2004, the new bypass was given a 2009 completion date, but following the economic crash the project was put on the long-finger.

Town officials promised to keep the pressure on Government ministers in an effort to get this and southern/eastern relief roads into the land acquisition and construction phase.

Councillors met on Monday to discuss the current plan to re-align the inner relief road with the Lewis Road and Kilcummin Road junctions. Council officials voted to go ahead with the traffic calming and road re-alignment plans at these locations but overruled a proposed pedestrian tunnel linking the Bridgefield Estate to the northern side of the current bypass road.

Newly elected Mayor of Kerry, Niall Kelleher, has been a long-time campaigner for realignment on the road.

Following the death of cyclist Annette Mannix in May 2017 he arranged the deputation to Dublin and has long campaigned for works to be undertaken. He has been supported by a host of local councillors and TDs.

Over 5,000 people signed the petition that was presented to Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

“I am delighted we are in this position and that planning permission had been granted by the elected members,” Cllr Kelleher told the Killarney Advertiser. “This is the first step in changing the traffic movement in Killarney. There is no doubt that the petition put pressure on the Government to act.”

Mr Kelleher added that there are also plans to build a new road that would take traffic from the bypass to Lower Park Road, but this is only in the pre-planning stages.”

Speaking after the meeting, newly elected Killarney Cathaoirleach, Michael Gleeson, confirmed that the Lewis Road project was given the green light but attention will now turn to getting the outer relief road project off the ground.

“The works on the inner relief roads are to be welcomed, but the real problem is that 30 percent of the traffic, especially at weekends or during the tourist season are not using this road to access Killarney but are going on elsewhere,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “The real good news is that the outer relief is back on the Government’s priority list and we promise to keep the pressure on our elected Oireachtas colleagues to keep it there.”

However, the project could take another seven years before it would be open to traffic, aside from design consultations and other public forums, there would be a need for the purchase of lands to allow construction of the new road.

“I won’t be resting on my laurels,” added Cllr Kelleher. “Over 18,000 vehicles use the bypass every day and we will be doing everything we can to put the new relief road further up the agenda.”

Two new roads are in the pipeline, the proposals include one that would take traffic from the Lissivigeen roundabout to the Tralee Road and another linking the same junction with Muckross Road.

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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“Avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney” Kerry County Council

County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm. Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney Due to the significant risk […]

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County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm.

Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney

Due to the significant risk to life and property, members of the public should remain indoors and not travel for the rest of the evening. Everyone is advised to follow updates on weather warnings from Met Éireann as well as the local media and social media.

There are an increasing number of roads closed or blocked because of fallen trees, electricity poles and spot flooding. Council crews will respond to issues when it is safe to do so and with the assistance of other agencies where required.

The N71 road at the Suspension Bridge in Kenmare remains closed to traffic as does the N70 Tralee to Castlemaine Road at the hairpin bends. There are a significant number of local and regional and local roads blocked or partially blocked by fallen trees, electricity poles and debris in all parts of the county so travel should be avoided.

The Ballycasheen Road in Killarney and Main Street in Ballybunion (and the surrounding area) should be avoided due to concerns about potential falling debris.

The Council’s emergency contact number is 066 7183588 and it will be operational through this evening and tonight.

Fallen electricity wires/poles and power outages should be reported to ESB Networks on 1800 372 999.

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