CLARE County Council will not apply for permission to carry out its proposed works at one of the county’s worst bottlenecks until the end of July at the earliest.
In the past week, the local authority has submitted details to An Bord Pleanála of its plans to alleviate the severe traffic jams that occur annually during the summer months at Blake’s Corner, Ennistymon.
An Bord Pleanála will determine by July 25 whether the planning decision should be made by Clare County Council under the Part VIII procedure or by An Bord Pleanála itself.
In February, the council revealed its proposed approach to deal with the long-standing traffic problems at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon, following consultation with local residents and elected members of the West Clare Municipal District. The proposed solution involves the construction of a new bridge approximately 80m upstream (to the east) of the existing Ennistymon Bridge on the N67.
The scheme comprises a two-phase project; Phase 1 of which will accommodate estimated traffic needs until 2032 at least.
Although designed and constructed to facilitate two-way traffic, the proposed new bridge will, under Phase 1, operate one-way and facilitate Lahinch-bound traffic only, with traffic from Lahinch continuing to use the existing bridge, which will also function as a one-way facility.
A decision on whether or not to proceed with Phase 2, which will provide for two-way traffic on the new bridge, will be based on emerging traffic needs.
When An Bord Pleanála makes its decision in July, the formal planning application will be submitted to either Clare County Council or An Bord Pleanála and the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proposal would be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for adjudication. The local authority stated at the time that it has communicated with affected property owners in relation to the land acquisition requirements.