Recent works being carried out on the new motorway between Castlebar and Westport at Keelogues.

Closure of Mayo road to proceed despite concerns of residents

Mayo County Council is to proceed with a plan to close the Keelogues Road, Castlebar, for five weeks despite concerns raised by residents and elected representatives.

It will close from Tuesday, April 19, to Monday, May 23, next, a period of five weeks to facilitate works on the new Castlebar to Westport motorway.

Residents and elected members of Castlebar Municipal District had outlined their opposition to the move.

Now the council has announced the decision to proceed with the closure was reached after considering a number of issues:

•The submissions received in response to the public consultation.

•Representations from the elected members on behalf of the community.

•The requirements of the contractor.

•The technical advise from the Mayo Roads Design Office.

The options of single lane operation and temporary diversion around the works were examined.

However these were not deemed practical as they presented significant dangers to the road users and road workers for the following reasons:

1. There is a significant excavation required on the north east/ Keelogues side of the bridge. This could be 1.5 / 2m in depth and there will be an inability to excavate one lane while keeping the adjacent lane stable enough for traffic and this is bore out from the information from the ground investigations.

2. The RDO team looked at the possibility of filling in the open drain on the north east of the structure and constructing a temporary diversion for the duration of that portion of the works, this however would be a dangerous solution as it would negatively impact sight lines for the two dwellings as well as the ‘stopping sight distances’ for vehicles approaching the dwellings

3. On the south west/Castlebar side there are services (including public sewer) located in the centre of the carriageway which have to be excavated around.

There is also some deflection of the pavement here as well which indicates an underlying issue most likely poor ground conditions.

Whilst the depth of excavation will not be excessively deep (possibly 1 metre), this, coupled with the services diversions, is the reason the contractor cannot provide an open lane adjacent to the works on this side of the bridge.

It is the intention of the contractor to excavate both lanes at the same time on one side of the bridge and then do a similar exercise on the other side while using the bridge for access for local premises adjacent to the works.

The duration of the closure was also closely examined by the council's technical team and the view is that the five week period is the appropriate time required to carry out the works.

The site team will monitor the works to ensure they are delivered as quickly as possible.