New pavement slabs on O’Connell Street could be slated for a change up

The Views of Limerick at the International Rugby Experience. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

LIMERICK councillors were told by Council officials in a private workshop that if stains can’t be removed from any defective pavement slabs on O’Connell Street, they could potentially be replaced.

Council members also learned at their behind-closed-doors briefing  Saon Friday last week that O’Connell Street will be deep-cleaned every week, on Monday or Tuesday evenings, between the hours of 8pm and 7am.

The €9.1 million revitalisation project, due to be finished this week, has seen an increased maintenance and cleansing budget of €300,000 for the core city centre this year. This was approved in 2022, and three new positions have now been created for the upkeep and cleansing of the city’s main thoroughfare.

Up to 30 additional bins will also be provided as needed, and emptied twice a day.

Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely told the Limerick Post that representatives were informed by the local authority at their briefing that if stains can’t be removed, individual pavement slabs could be taken up and replaced.

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“In the meantime, while waiting for approval, the Council’s own resources will be used to keep O’Connell Street maintained. It is being power-washed and deep-cleaned now, with particular attention paid to stain removal.

“If stains can’t be removed, the individual stones potentially can be removed if necessary and replaced,” Cllr Kiely revealed.

Road safety audits for all road users are also to be completed in the next few weeks and uncontrolled crossings will be kept to encourage pedestrians to cross freely throughout the whole street, according to the councillor.

“I’ve asked numerous times in public and at this briefing for a pedestrian crossing at Bedford Row and Thomas Street to be replaced. At the briefing, I was informed a safety audit will need to be completed. If it is deemed necessary after that, it will be considered.

“I’m not happy with the delay for the crossing. It is obvious to all who see the area that a crossing is well and truly needed. In the meantime, I’m hoping nobody is injured while we wait for officialdom to do their job.”

According to Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan, there are a number of outstanding issues regarding the long-term revitalisation project that clarity is still needed on.

“We still do not know definitively what sections of the completed street have been deep-cleaned and sealed and the Council could not tell us whether stained sections have been sealed or what has and hasn’t been sealed,” the City North representative said.

“The Council need to ensure that any section of the street handed over by the contractor are throughly deep-cleaned and that stains are not sealed into the surface of the street. I will be strongly making the case for additional street cleaning resources as part of this year’s budget process.

“In relation to the public art scheme and the abandoned prism, we were told that it was a specific scheme and that they are examining other options in relation to a public art scheme, which I would very like to see form part of the final scheme,” he concluded.