West Mayo community seeking solution to three-month road closure proposal
Up to 15 community groups in Islandeady have lodged an objection to Mayo County Council over a proposal to close the main access route into the village during day-time hours for three months to facilitate the building of the new N5 route between Turlough and Castlebar.
The council has made a formal application to close the L-1811 from the junction with the N5 for a length of approximately 400 metres from Monday, May 31, to Friday, August 21, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.
As part of the road development, an access road is to be provided to land owners along the western bank of the river, adjacent to Brendan Gibbons' property.
The Islandeady submission said if this road is constructed first - approximately 200 metres - it can link with one of the already constructed temporary bridges to allow residents access to the Westport road.
The north side ramp and new cemetery road can then be constructed to completion, which can then be used to gain access to the Westport road, via the old graveyard road and allow the south side ramp to be constructed.
The submission stated: "This option may result in some re-sequencing of works but it is, in our view, easily achievable.
"We understand significant resources have been allocated to this project.
"From the outset, we as a community have been very disappointed with the lack of respect, consultation and communication afforded us, in relation to this proposed road closure.
"We find it hard to understand, that a small notice in local newspapers was deemed sufficient to inform a whole community of the closure of its main road artery, in the first instance, nine, and in the next instance, four months, at very short notice.
"We feel it is undermining us as a community, instead of empowering us to embrace this development.
"It is disappointing that we as a community must be forced into this situation.
"Questions must be asked as to how a major project design team with significant resources and time at their disposal could, by act or omission, create a situation where a whole community can be so impacted.
"It is our view that it is not too late to come to a safer solution as we have outlined.
"We are open to engage with representatives of the relevant parties to discuss our alternative solution, before any decision is made.
Councillor Ger Deere said he visited the site on Tuesday and is fully supportive the alternative route the community have proposed as it offers the best solution for the community at large.
He stated: "The proposed road closure by the contractors for four months will cause huge inconvenience to all in the community and it's unfair to impose thus on this wonderful community.
"I am pleading with the contractors and Mayo County Council to take on board the concerns of the community and to take use the alternative route suggested by the submission.
"I compliment the community for the professional manner they are handling this issue and I offer my full support to them has this matter resolved."
The letter of objection was signed by representatives of Islandeady Community Council, the church, GAA Club, St. Paul's National School, Men's Shed, Bilberries Playgroup, the Business and Tourism Group, IFA, Youth Club, Ladies Club, the Village Enhancement Group, residents of the Clonnan/Rinnaseer area, who live along the L-1811, and residents of the Derrada area, who live along the diverted route.