'The worst I've seen it' - Councillors speak on state of Offaly roads
Offaly County Councillors have spoken out about the condition of the county's roads and called for additional funding at the February meeting of Offaly County Council.
A number of councillors spoke about the poor condition of some roads in the county, with Cllr Dervill Dolan saying, "it's the worst I've seen it in terms of submissions to me about roads."
He spoke of the challenges facing the outdoor staff of the council, suggesting that the funding provided from the Department is "not enough to tackle maintenance and repair works."
It was pointed out at the meeting that 60% of Offaly's road network is built on bog, and the effect this has on the durability of the roads was raised by numerous councillors.
Cllr Dolan insisted that "we won't have enough money for repair works when the weather dries up," and that "boglands are posing a problem." He suggested the council apply to the department for extra funding. Chief Executive of Offaly County Council, Anna Marie Delaney, responded by saying, "we'll be making the case to the Department and all we can do is push that."
Cllr John Leahy went further by suggesting Offaly County Council should "fight" to be considered in a different criteria for roads funding purposes due to the increased chance of deterioration owing to bogland foundations. He said the council "go back every year looking for additional funding" and instead should simply ask that Offaly be seen as a special case.
Speaking about road condition, Chief Executive Anna Marie Delaney said, "roads are a challenge" and that "weather has played a part." She said that the council had been engaging in patching works on roads but that hasn't been fully effective.
Cathaoirleach Liam Quinn added to the discussion by saying, "patching isn't satisfying people." "We should look at getting a small pot of money from the department for more substantial works."
Director of Services, Sean Murray, admitted that the 60% of roads in Offaly built on bog are "prone to deterioration," but added that "surface dressing can be effective" in prolonging the life of a road. However, he did say, "we will be working with every possible source of finance to get more bang for our buck on the roads issue."
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