LIMERICK City and County Council are often left footing the bill after utility companies have dug up roads to do work and left them in a state of disrepair.
And, according to Fine Gael councillor John Sheahan, this practice must stop.
Cllr Sheahan proposed a motion at last Monday’s meeting of the local authority, requesting that utility companies be asked to pay a bond to cover the cost of fully reinstating the road within a short period of time.
“When the road or trenches collapse, we are left picking up the bill,” he told council members.
“These companies walk out and leave us with the mess. It has to stop so that we won’t be out of pocket. We need to come down and come down hard so the message goes out — if you are doing work in Limerick, you better do it right!”
Seconding the proposal, Cllr Liam Galvin (FG) claimed that any road Irish Water open up, can take up to six months before it is restored.
“They are digging up our property and it is their responsibility to put it back. They can’t be allowed get away with it,” he said.
Independent councillor Jerome Scanlan said utilities must be taken to account before a road opening licence is issued to ensure that there is no chance of road collapse.
A response from Limerick City and County Council revealed that it does seek bonds from Irish Water contractors depending on the application and location.
“However, it is accepted that for some road openings such as emergencies, appropriate and prompt reinstatement is not being addressed and a road opening licence needs to be in place in line with agreed protocols for such openings.”
Council Director of Transport, Brian Kennedy said that there had been over 1,000 applications in the last 12 months for road opening licences.
“We will look at being far more ruthless in relation to this,” he added.