Call for entire resurfacing as road section closes for completion of water mains scheme

November 1, 2011

By Brónagh Murphy

The main B30 Newry Road in Crossmaglen will close to through traffic this week to facilitate the completion of the water mains improvement programme on the route.

From today (Monday) October 31st until Friday November 4th the road will be closed between its junctions with Drumill Road and New Road.

A spokesperson for Northern Ireland Water (NIW) said the closure is necessary to reinstate the road following the recent pipe-laying works.

Alternative routes for through traffic will be New Road, Dundalk Road, Cullyhanna Road, Skerriff Road, Freeduff Road, Cloghoge Road, Carran Road and Newry Road.

“NI Water and our contractor, Farrans Construction, would like to thank the public in advance for their co-operation and patience during this essential improvement work and would like to assure customers that every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile political representatives have called for the road surface as a whole between Silverbridge and Crossmaglen to be replaced, describing it as “absolutely appalling”.

Following a recent meeting of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillors from the area raised concerns over the poor state of the road with officials from Roads Service and NI Water.

SDLP Councillor Geraldine Donnelly says the issue has been raised a number of times at various meetings and says she has received assurances from NIW that the track opened to facilitate pipe-laying would be reinstated to a high standard.

However Mrs Donnelly says the entire road surface between Fords Cross and Crossmaglen is “disgraceful” and she has highlighted the need for the route to be totally resurfaced and returned to “perfect driving condition”.

“At a recent Council meeting where Roads Service presented the six-monthly report, I stressed the concerns that people still had in relation to the disgraceful state of the road,” she said.

“Roads Service say it is up to the Water Service to sort the road out and that there is no budget there from the Roads Service.  However, people have a right to a decent road.”

Commenting on the issue, MP for the area, Conor Murphy, said: “This major road, which is consistently utilised by large volumes of commercial and domestic vehicles, has been left in a completely unacceptable state by NIW following recent upgrades to the water mains.

“Local councillors Colman Burns and Terry Hearty have long been calling for the resurfacing of the road and they again raised the issue at Thursday night’s Council meeting.  Following their efforts I have made contact with the Chief Executives of both NI Water and the Roads Service to argue for emergency works to be carried out in advance of the onset of winter.”

While welcoming the works which are to commence today, Mr Murphy called on Roads Service to resurface the entire stretch between Silverbridge and Crossmaglen.

NIW’s customer relations team can be contacted via Waterline on 08457 440088. Customers with any questions on the scheme should quote “Farrans Water Mains Rehabilitation Programme”.