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Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Saga Part 2.

A series of press releases were published in 2021 in relation to Road Works on N75, Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Please note the date of the Press Releases were Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021.

Tipperary County Council (Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021- PR notice is now removed from their website.)

Headline: Road Works N75 Kickham Street, Thurles.

“Tipperary County Council wishes to announce that funding for urgent roadworks on the N75 at Kickham Street, in Thurles has been secured from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
Due to the urgency of the works, works are scheduled to take place immediately and will commence on Monday 08th March until Thursday 11th March 2021.

The works have been programmed to take place at Kickham Street, between the roundabout at the Mitchel Street Junction and the Mill Rd Roundabout.

Given the location of the works, an urgent road closure is required.

In order to facilitate the diverted outbound traffic, parking restrictions will take place on Mitchel Street, from Sunday 07th March at 18.00pm until Thursday 11th March at 18.00pm.

Once this section of works has been completed surfacing works will move further out the N62 road to a section of carriageway in the vicinity of the Anner Hotel.

Traffic at this location will be controlled using a stop/go system and a road closure will not be necessary.
The contractor will then relocate to the N62, Slievenamon Road to resurface a section of carriageway between the Dunnes Stores Roundabout and Kavanagh Place junction (Outside Thurles Garda Station).
Again, traffic will be controlled at this location using a stop/go system and there will be parking restrictions in the vicinity of the works to facilitate the free movement of traffic.

Tipperary County Council wishes to acknowledge the disruption these works may cause to businesses in the town. However, it is essential that works are completed before the expected easing of Covid -19 restrictions in the coming months, when it is hoped the economy will re-open.

Minimising disruption and the safety of road users will be a priority given the high footfall and the prominent businesses in the area.

Home Frontages on Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
[Date Photographed 12th February 2022]
Pic: G. Willoughby

The above press release phraseology, indicates the disintegrated state of the road surface, which can be easily confirmed by local residents and by the use of Tipperary Co. Council’s own press release, quote – “urgent roadworks” and “Due to the urgency of the works”.

For at least 3 years previously, this busy narrow stretch of Thurles roadway, under the watch of Tipperary Co. Council officials and their Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath, had been totally ignored.
Talks over a previous 30 year period of a Ring Road to remove unnecessary heavy trucks from the town were never properly pursued by local politicians, except promises at election time, from TD’s with little clout at national level.

In a further back slapping, political press release, sent to the Tipperary Star newspaper, Ms Sharon Scully, (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) stated:

“We welcome the funding from TII and the commencement of these urgent roadworks in the town and acknowledge the commitment of the Council and the Elected Members to improve the safety of road users and improve traffic flow.
This project demonstrates the commitment of Thurles Municipal District to support the development of Thurles town. While I understand further disruption to businesses in the town will be frustrating, the delivery of such roadwork projects is necessary in order to benefit both businesses and communities in the long term.

For further information contact Mr. Thomas Duffy, District Engineer, Thurles Municipal District email: thomas.duffy@tipperarycoco.ie, or Sharon Scully, District Administrator email: sharon.scully@tipperarycoco.ie or by telephone @ 0818 06 5000.
END.

Within Hours Councillor Mr Jim Ryan, Welcomes Funding for Kickham Street Resurfacing on his Social Media Platform.
Too be fair, Mr Ryan was the only local elected Councillor to raise the problems associated with the Kickham Street crater ridden road structure.

Cllr. Ryan stated quote -“Thurles Independent County Councillor Jim Ryan has this week welcomed the news that Tipperary County Council has been given the green light to carry out a full and proper resurfacing job on the roadway along Kickham Street in Thurles. Cllr Ryan states that he was informed of this good news by the local District Engineer (Mr T. Duffy) in an email last week, after bringing up the issue of the road on numerous occasions at both local and county council meetings.

I am delighted to announce that Tipperary County Council were informed recently by Transport Infrastructure Ireland who are responsible for the road, that money has been approved and allocated towards the full resurfacing of Kickham Street from the Mill Road roundabout to the roundabout at Cathedral Street.

I am thrilled with this news as I have been raising this issue with the council for some time now. The road surface is in an awful state with large potholes appearing all of the time despite the best efforts of the outdoor staff of the council.

Simply filling in the potholes never works at this time of the year due to the very poor weather and also because of the huge volume of traffic that uses Kickham Street on a daily basis. Areas such as those at Circle K and near Aldi have deteriorated to such a bad way that cars are being damaged. Pedestrians are also being drenched from cars driving into puddles of water that have lodged on the roadway.

The road engineer is earmarking later this year for the resurfacing job to be carried out when the weather improves and also to avoid further traffic disruptions while the works on Liberty Square are being carried out. In the meantime I will ask him to continue repairing the potholes until the job is carried out.


I would like to compliment and thank the local engineer for what he did in persuading Transport Infrastructure Ireland to give the go ahead for these works and to say that as the local County Councillor I am thrilled that my representations on this matter have proved successful.

Finally, I would like to confirm that the works won’t happen for a few months, because of the reasons I outlined above and also because of the current COVID-19 restrictions so a bit of patience will be required before the roadway is back to the way it should be.
Thank
Cllr Jim Ryan.

AGAIN: Date of both press releasesTuesday, 2nd March, 2021.

This work contracted out by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) of course was never completed, and involved only the replacement of some 150 yards of resurfacing at either end of the street.

The Transport Infrastructure Ireland contractors came and went, leaving the craters in the centre and the drains blocked by their gravel.

Contacting Mr. Thomas Duffy, District Engineer, and Ms Sharon Scully, District Administrator yielded no benefit to pedestrians, including schoolchildren forced to sit in wet stockings all day, having been splashed by muddy water, as they traversed the street’s footpaths on the way to and from schools in the area.

Problems caused by Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) excavations.
Note: Tipperary Co. Council retains responsibility for Uisce Éireann and queries continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Tipperary Co. Council.
[Date Photographed 12th February 2022]
Pic: G. Willoughby.

As a house owner on the street, I have to suffer gravel and dirty water being pelted constantly against my front window, each autumn, winter and early spring, together with water coming though my letterbox and through the wall of my home. I contacted all elected Councillors and our two local elected politicians (Mr Jackie Cahill & Mr Mick. Lowry), all to no avail.

After some months an employee of Tipperary Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry replied by email.
Mr Martin Lynch’s reply, arrived on Tuesday, 22nd Feb, 2022 @ 17:25 and as is usual no reply from Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill.

Mr Martin Lynch’s reply, in full, read as follows:-

“Afternoon George,
I hope your all safe and well.
Just replying to your email concerning Kickham Street. The office has also contacted Irish Water and asked them to provide an update for when they will rectify the water ponding.
Upon receipt of a reply from Irish Water I will contact you again.
Kind regards,
Martin Lynch, (Parliamentary Assistant to Michael Lowry T.D.
Constituency Office, Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, E41 HV08 Phone: 0504 22022. On behalf of Michael Lowry T.D).”

To date, not surprisingly, no further reply was ever received from Mr Michael Lowry’s office.

The problem opposite my own home, as indeed with other houses on Kickham Street and Mitchel Street, is one of depressions in the roadway caused by slow moving, heavy, vibrating traffic; same rolling over surfaces dug up by Irish Water, (Uisce Éireann) who had been granted permission by Thurles Municipal District Council.

The link to this post has been forwarded to Ms Sharon Scully (Thurles Municipal District Administrator) and Mr Joe MacGrath (Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Co.).

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