NRA wasn’t satisfied with M18 works

NRA wasn’t satisfied with M18 works

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Work being undertaken at the scene where Vicky Courtney died in November 2012 – © Pat Flynn 2014

The National Roads Authority (NRA) closed a 16km stretch of motorway last week because they weren’t satisfied with drainage works recently carried out.

Earlier this month, the northbound and southbound carriageways of the M18 between Gort in Co Galway and Crusheen in Clare, were closed at different times during a four day period to allow for essential works.

Following works carried out between October 13th and 17th, an assessment was undertaken and the NRA decided to close the northbound lanes again for three days last week.

An NRA spokesman confirmed: “There was an independent assessment of works that we completed a few weeks ago and we weren’t satisfied with some elements of it so we wanted corrective measures taken and these will be assessed again.”

“When this has been done we will look at it again. The work is primarily to do with drainage and off-road drainage as well,” the spokesman added.

It was the third time in a year that such works had been undertaken on the M18 between Barefield and Gort resulting in carriageway closures and diversions.

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Work being undertaken at the location where Vicky Courtney died in November 2012 – © Pat Flynn 2014

Last March, a 7-kilometre section was closed for five days to facilitate improvement works.

This was done after the County Coroner in Clare wrote to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following the death of a young woman.

In November 2012, Vicky Courtney from Castlelambert Co Galway died when she lost control of her car in poor weather conditions on the M18 at Ballyline near Ennis.

The inquest into her death heard she died after driving through “a lake of water”.

The Coroner wrote to the RSA in relation to the circumstances of the tragedy. The RSA subsequently referred the letter to the NRA which only assumed responsibility for motorway maintenance in July 2013, 8 months after the crash. 

“The Coroner’s letter included a recommendation that ‘a pool of water should not be allowed on any motorways’. The National Roads Authority fully agreed with the objective of the Coroner’s statement in this regard,” an NRA spokesman said.

“The NRA monitors and assesses the network under its direct control with a view to carrying out any maintenance or remedial works which might be required to improve road drainage and maintain the design capacity of the drainage system.

However, the possibility of the occurrence of surface water due to extreme weather events or other causes cannot be fully eliminated,” the NRA added.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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