PLANS: An artist’s impression of what the new road layout and adjacent community area will look like.
By Sean Moriarty
Killarney councillors met behind closed doors on Wednesday this week to discuss changes to the Bypass Road/Lewis Road/Kilcummin Road realignment plans.
The junction has been the scene of several fatal accidents in recent years and its realignment is seen as a major priority in Killarney by both residents and politicians alike.
Earlier this year Kerry County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) revealed draft plans for the junction.
New plans, seen by the Killarney Advertiser, show a new pedestrian underbridge linking Bridgefield housing estate to a new recreation area which will be constructed in the cut-off lands between the existing and new Kilcummin roads.
The plans revealed in February show that the N22 Lewis Road and Kilcummin Road Upgrade Project would involve the upgrade of approximately 0.8km of the N22 National Primary Route which forms part of the Killarney Bypass. Specifically, the project focuses on the upgrade of a staggered junction which connects the L3902 Lewis Road and the L2033 Kilcummin Road to the N22.
On Wednesday, TII presented additional plans to the Council in the Town Hall. The new proposal does not change the proposed new road layout, which will include a new roundabout, a new section added to the Kilcummin Road to move it away from the Lewis Road intersection, the banning of right turns from the Bypass to Lewis Road.
Motorists will continue to the new roundabout and double-back and the right turns exiting Lewis Road will be banned – instead they will proceed to the Cleeney Roundabout and double-back.
The original plan was to include a pedestrian underpass which was to be situated opposite two houses in Bridgefield – but following concerns raised by residents – this will now move 800m west and away from the houses.
However, this has raised further concerns with councillors and residents.
“No one will have any objections to the road works and the new roundabout, this is badly wanted,” said Councillor Brendan Cronin. “But there is little thought for the residents of Bridgefield. They have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and moving the underpass won’t change this. The new park and walkway seems to be a way of dressing up this issue, but there is no account for parking and additional traffic in the estate.”
Local residents, already beleaguered by congestion on big occasions at Fitzgerald Stadium, say their main concern is to make the junction safer and the additional works are unnecessary.
The new park will be built in the area between the Bypass road and the new road in a triangular area that could otherwise be a wasteland.
“All that is really needed is a new junction layout and the roundabout,” Lewis Road resident, Laura O’Regan, said.
“The existing road could be upgraded instead of building the new section. Where are people going to park? It will lead to further problems down by the pitch and putt club. If the existing road was upgraded there would be no need for the park, and where is this money coming from?”
The final draft won’t be released until next month because of this month’s local elections and the formation of a new Municipal Council.