Blake’s Corner solution could be just two years away

Blake's Corner, Lahinch
The scene in Ennistymon last Friday when a lorry carrying boulders for coastal protection work in Lahinch came into contact with the wall at Blake’s Corner. Traffic in the town was delayed for a number of hours. Photo: Sara Foust

A solution to the ongoing traffic disruption at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon could be in place before the end of 2021 – that is significantly earlier than had been previously thought.

A new council timeline for the construction of the Ennistymon Inner relief Road, seen by The Clare People, has indicated that the project could be completed by December 2021.

This timeline, which is based on no legal challenges being taken, would see the local authority submit plans for Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) to An Bord Pleanála in May of this year, with construction earmarked to begin in June of next year.

The steering group for the project –which includes Clare County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Midwest Regional Design Office and Roughan O’Donovan Consultants – met in mid-February.

At that stage, the draft CPO schedule and associated drawings were nearing completion. Clare County Council is also understood to have met with all land owners affected between December and February.

This news comes as traffic was brought to a standstill in Ennistymon last Friday, when a lorry carrying boulders for coastal protection work in Lahinch came into contact with the wall at Blake’s Corner. 

The Clare People understands that the brake system of the lorry was damaged in the incident, which caused traffic to be delayed for a number of hours.

“The Lahinch-bound lane of the bridge was completely blocked by it. Only cars could get around it; busses and lorries had to be sent by different roads. It caused a massive build-up in the town for a number of hours,” said Dan McInerney of the Let’s Keep Ennistymon Moving pressure group.

“We know that traffic is going to be diverted for the Irish Open but that won’t help for the rest of the year. 

“If a system was put in place where busses coming to the Cliffs of Moher all came the same way, that might help. If two busses meet on the bridge, that’s where we get big problems.”

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