Work has started on the Irish Water upgrade at Davitt Street in Tipp town.
Tipperary Town has been plunged into four months of traffic congestion and disruption to business by an Irish Water upgrade project on the N24 that runs through the heart of the town.
The timing of the €800,00 Irish Water upgrade at Davitt Street has been slammed as it is expected to have a massive economic impact on the town over Christmas and make a chaotic traffic congestion problem even worse in a town crying out for a by-pass.
Business people and residents of the town are outraged at the thought of what lies ahead over the next four months, Independent councillor Denis Leahy said this week.
He blasted Irish Water, and said Tipperary County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, were not blameless in the matter, for allowing the project to impact on Christmas trade in the town.
Cllr. Leahy said the project, which started last week, was in the planning for two years and was due to start in June of this year.
“It is absolutely inexcusable that this project is not finished now to enable business people in the town to get a clear run at Christmas.
“Who wants jackhammers going all day and road works over Christmas holding up the whole town. The delay in starting the project is going to cost the people of Tipperary very dearly and it could have been so easily avoided,” said Cllr. Leahy.
The project involves a water mains upgrade on 1.5km of road at Davitt Street, which is located on the N24 main Waterford-Limerick road that runs through the town leading up to the roundabout at the Dunnes Stores shopping centre on the Limerick road. As part of the project lead water connections to up to eighty premises will be replaced.
“Motorists have to tolerate one of the worst road surfaces in the country as it stands, we have a motorway volume of traffic going straight through our town every day and now the situation is going to be exacerbated by further traffic delays and disruption to business, not only in Davitt Street, as it will have a knock on effect down to the Main Street as well,” said Cllr. Leahy.
The independent counncillor and businessman said the water upgrade was essential and the replacement of the lead pipes was to be welcomed but there was no excuse for allowing the works to start late.
He said the surface of the N24 through the town had been allowed to deteriorate to an unacceptable level and it was caving in under the pressure from the volume of traffic going through the town.