A positive development has been reported in the long-running saga surrounding the introduction of safety measures at the notoriously dangerous junction linking the Killarney bypass road with Lewis Road.
A meeting of Killarney Municipal District Council was today informed that the first phase of the project – to allow traffic exiting from Lewis Road to turn left only – is expected to commence next week and a contractor has been appointed for the job.
Kerry County Council senior roads engineer, Paul Curry, said the initial work would also involve the erection of a number of bollards along the bypass before the turn-off to Lewis Road to further calm traffic.
“It’s all in the name of safety,” he said.
The first phase will completely remove the right-hand turn option for traffic leaving Lewis Road and the only option will be to turn left towards the Cleeney Roundabout.
Mr Curry said there will be traffic management required during the works but the council doesn’t want to impact on Christmas traffic in Killarney and it is hoped that the work will be finished by mid-December.
Good progress has also been made with landowners in the area and agreement will have to be reached with them before the major works – including the construction of a new roundabout – commences on the bypass.
Mr Curry also confirmed that a new underpass will be constructed adjacent to the proposed new community nursing unit off the bypass road and that will provide a safer connection for pedestrians and cyclists travelling from the Fitzgerald Stadium to Ballydribbeen where the Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic facilities are located.
The tunnel-style underpass will be bigger and wider than the original structure proposed to run from Bridgefield Estate which, Mr Curry acknowledged, was in a much more sensitive area.
A major new road lay-out is also planned to run from the MD O’Shea Roundabout, at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, as far as the turn-off for Ballycasheen and Whitebridge on the Cork Road.
Mr Curry said the design report for that work is awaiting approval from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the project will slow traffic down and make the road much safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
The work will include the installation of traffic lights to ensure traffic existing from Ballycasheen and Woodlawn will have a much safer opportunity to get on to the main Killarney-Cork road.
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