“LEITRIM County Council will be fighting an up hill battle to maintain our road network over the coming year”, Cllr John McCartin has told The Observer following the recent annoucement by Minister Pat Carey of the County’s allocation under the 2011 Regional and Local Roads Programme.
Leitrim County Council has been aloocated €7,829,455 under this year’s programme. Cllr McCartin said the “biggest challenge facing the council is the rapid deterioration of road surface conditions following the hard winter frost.”
The ouncillor said “In the previous winter, the hard frost was followed by a prolonged dry spell which allowed road foundations time to resettle after the thaw. This year, torrential rainfall has undermined the already tender subsurfaces of many roads in the county. Unfortunately, some roads are beginning to look like the pothole ridden boreens of the 1980s.
“Last year, our winter maintenance budget was sufficient but this year, due to the prolonged freezing conditions and the continuous gritting and salting, we have actually overshot the winter maintenance budget for national primary and secondary roads by some margin. I understand that the council will be making representations to the NRA in an effort to make up the balance but while this money is vital, it is not guaranteed.”
On the bright side McCartin also said “The Department of Environment are expected to announce a number of small capital grants in the next few weeks and Leitrim’s share of this fund may be in the hundreds of thousands of euro.”