Archive for June 4, 2020

The Mains in Maynooth

Posted in Maynooth with tags , , on June 4, 2020 by telescoper

I don’t often post about local news but I thought for a change while I’m taking a break from examination marking I’d just mention a little local difficulty here in Maynooth.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning (2nd June) I was surprised by the amount of (stationary) traffic on the Straffan Road beside my flat. I later had to pop into the bank on Main Street and discovered that the reason was major roadworks reducing the traffic to one lane and necessitating the introduction of stop/go manual signals to replace the traffic lights. Unlike today, Tuesday was a hot day and the ensuing traffic jam caused a few frayed tempers among impatient drivers.

The roadworks are to do with the laying of a new water main, which is being done in phases. The job started down Parson Street a few weeks ago when construction work resumed (after a break for Covid-19 reasons) and gradually moved up towards the Castle. This was less disruptive than the current phase which is on Mill Street. This is the main thoroughfare from Maynooth both North to Moyglare and West to Kilcock. The works here have caused tailbacks all the way through the town. There are barriers along Main Street to enforce single line traffic which have turned the centre of town an obstacle course. This type of signal is very heavy on manpower: there must be at least 20 people standing at junctions operating the signs and signalling to each other. It’s working reasonably well, though, all things considered.

Here are a couple of snaps I took on Mill Street, first looking south towards Main Street and Leinster Street:

Here’s one looking North over the bridge towards Manor Mills shopping centre on the left:

The roadworks take up entire lane. There is no vehicle traffic visible because I took the picture just before traffic was allowed in from the bottom end of Mill Street.

I am a bit surprised that the new water main is being laid in a trench running right along the middle of one lane, rather than to the side, but I’m told that isn’t unusual in Ireland. When I asked someone the other day what the works were for he said “they’re replacing the old lead pipes”. I didn’t actually believe that there could still be lead water mains, but I’m told it is true. There has been so little public investment here that much of Ireland’s infrastructure is Victorian.

Anyway, although the constant traffic jams are a bit annoying (and noisy) it’s good that they’re doing this work. At the moment Ireland is experiencing something approaching a drought and is estimated that over 25% of the water in the system is being lost through leaky pipes.

I think that if there are no delays they should be finished by tomorrow evening (5th June) but as of this evening it seems that they still have a lot to do!