WHILE there were some reservations expressed over the time-scale, the news that the long awaited work on the R402 between Edenderry and Enfield could be completed within three years was generally welcomed by the members at the recent meeting of Edenderry Area Committee.
Grace O'Dea reports
Members of the Area Committee and Edenderry Town Council met with Des O'Connor, Senior Engineer with Kildare County Council, before the meeting to discuss the ongoing saga over the R402.
Edenderry Area Manager Declan Conlon told members that an allocation of €2 million meant that design work on the project can now be concluded.
However he warned the members that there were issues which might delay the progression of the project, such as houses to be replaced along the route.
Mr Conlon said it was hoped that the road would progress to CPO stage by the end of the year, as the deadline for commencing the CPOs was January 2011.
He added that it would take three years before the road is complete, and that was only if everything went according to plan.
While welcoming the news Cllr Noel Bourke said it was progressing 'ever so slowly'.
"It was the mid 90's when we had our first meeting with Kildare County Council. I'm sad it is taking so long. But at least it is moving in the right direction," he remarked.
He added that the road has been needed for many years and Kildare had stepped up to its initial responsibility to push it, resulting in the minister making it a priority.
"I hope we can achieve the time-scale outlined. It would improve the area substantially as well as making the town more attractive," he commented while also asking that the council keep in touch with those involved to ensure it happens within the given time-scale.
Cllr John Foley said the news was something to be very positive about.
"The news from Kildare is positive, even if it is two or three years down the road. As public representatives we need to send this message out to communities. We should work with our Kildare neighbours to make it faster," said Cllr Foley who added that he hoped the new road would 'get much needed jobs into the area'.
Cllr Nichola Hogan said she was hopeful that work would commence in January 2011.
"We need to be realistic. There have been a lot of announcements in relation to this, I hope its going to proceed,"
Cllr Eddie Fitzpatrick said the route was very important for the future development of Edenderry and the North Offaly area.
"Edenderry needs this link to the N4 to ensure that we attract new business into Edenderry in the near future," he stated.