The repair works to the M9 motorway near Gowran are expected to be finished by the end of October – at no cost to the state, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA).
The works, which are being undertaken between Junctions 6 (Leighlinbridge) and 7 (Paulstown/ Gowran), are being done in response to “settlement issues” on the approach to the bridge structure identified by Kilkenny County Council engineers last year, an NRA spokesman said.
“It is something that is not uncommon but that needs to be rectified,” the spokesman said.
“The contractor has taken full liability because it is a quality assurance matter,” he said, so there is no cost to the state. “The contractor has been very clear and up-front.”
He acknowledged that the work “has taken some time” but said that a detailed investigation was carried out to ensure that a permanent solution could be put in place.
The spokesman also said that the safety of motorists was taken into consideration when the works were being planned.
“It has been safety-audited, and as part of the safety audit they recommended reducing it to one lane,” he said. “That slows you down because it is more narrow.”
Although the speed limit on this stretch of motorway has not legally been reduced, “it is obviously recommended to slow down in accordance with the reduction to one lane,” the spokesman said.
In the time that the reduction to one lane has been in place, “there have not been any incidents,” he said.
A two-vehicle accident involving a van and a car did take place on the motorway on Sunday night around 9pm, but that occurred eight or 10 miles away from the roadworks, according to the Carlow fire service. No one was seriously injured in the incident, which took place about two miles from Junction 6 on the southbound side of the motorway, according to the fire service.