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Engineering

Donegal County Council is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of our roads. Donegal has a total of 6,270km of roads, with over 5,000km of these classified as local roads. This is one of the longest road networks of any local authority. In the last number of years vast improvements have been made to the road network in Donegal. However over the same period of time we have also seen large increases in the numbers of vehicles on our roads and also in the numbers of new homes, which all place an added burden on the road infrastructure.

Donegal County Council undertakes a number of initiatives to improve road safety on our roads. Click on the relevant section below to find out more information.


General Road Maintenance

A team of engineers and skilled staff who have a detailed knowledge of their areas manages the road maintenance of each electoral area locally. These staff are based in the local public service centres / road offices. This maintenance consists of general repairs to the road surface, surface dressing, drainage works, removal of obstructions and other similar works. If you would like to report a defect on the road network, contact your local roads office.


Winter Maintenance

The winter period as identified by the department of the Environment, heritage and local government extends from the 1st November to the 30th April each year. During this time Donegal County Council use ice detection and prediction equipment to monitor the road network and determine whether to carry out salting or not.

Donegal County Council within the resources available endeavours to maintain major traffic routes in the County in a passable condition, to comply with the Department of the Environment’s Publication “Memorandum on Maintenance of Essential Services in Severe Weather Conditions (Nov. 2000)”. Currently this involves salting aproximately 1200km of road including all of the National Primary and National Secondary roads.


Road Improvements

Donegal County Council continues to maintain and improve the road network on an annual basis. These works are normally managed by the local area staff. In many cases this work will involve the realignment of the existing road network to incorporate additional road safety features or a more favourable road alignment. Each major road improvement scheme which is subject to part 8 planning procedures is also subject to a road safety audit. The road safety audit is a process for checking proposed schemes for the safety of all road users. It attempts to identify any potential hazards and makes practical and constructive recommendation to aleviate any potential problems.


Road Safety Audits

A Road Safety Audit is a process for checking the safety of new scheme on roads. It will examine the safety of a proposed scheme from all road users point of view: Drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.

The safety audit will highlight potential safety issues and will make recommendations on how to improve the situation. The recommendations made will be practical and constructive and in most cases they will be easy to implement.

Road Safety Audits are undertaken on all new major road schemes and on many new housing developments. Advice on the road safety audit process is available in the NRA’s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. This document also sets out the qualification procedure for becoming a road safety auditor. Donegal County Council has a team of qualified road safety auditors but also utilises the expertise within the NRA’s safety audit team when appropriate Schemes that have undergone Road Safety Audit are not only safer, but may also improve the quality of life for those using the development.


Low Cost Remedial Works

These are small jobs that are designed to treat local areas with a road safety hazard. They types of works vary as they are site specific to the hazards found at that location. Low cost remedial works can be broken down into three categories listed below.

NRA Low Cost Remedial works

These schemes are funded by the National Roads Authority to address locations on National Roads with a treatable problem and a proven accident history. Donegal County Council makes an annual application to the NRA for this funding for up to 10 schemes usually costing between €3,000 and €30,000. As part of the application evidence must be provided to illustrate the nature of the problem and the accident history.

DoEHLG Low Cost Remedial Works

These schemes are funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to address locations on Non National Roads with a treatable problem and a proven accident history. Donegal County Council makes an annual application to the DoEHLG for this funding for up to 10 schemes usually costing between €3,000 and €30,000. As part of the application evidence must be provided to illustrate the nature of the problem and the accident history.

Own Resources

These monies made available from the County Council’s own resources to treat localised problems where there is a clear identified hazard. These are usually schemes that would not normally qualify for NRA or DoEHLG funding. The schemes can be located on either National or Non National Roads. In recent years Donegal County Council has allocated a considerable funds to this programme with over € ½ million allocated in 2005 and 2006 alone. These works have undoubtedly made a big improvement to the road network in places where there were identifiable hazards and would not normally qualify for this type of funding.

To ensure that Donegal maximises it’s opportunity to obtain external funding and to ensure that own resources monies are fairly distributed Donegal County Council has adopted a policy on “the consideration of hazardous locations on the road network for low cost accident remedial works”. This policy came into action in November 2005 and aims to provide guidance on how each hazardous location will be assessed, ranked for funding and the criteria for each of the three programmes above. Click here to download a copy of the policy document.




Pedestrian Facilities

Donegal County Councils continues to provide improved pedestrian facilities through out the county. This is done in many forms from improving existing infrastructure to providing new facilities. These types of measures include footpaths, footbridges, dropped kerbs, refuge islands, zebra and pelican crossings.

For safety reasons care must be taken when providing controlled crossings such as zebra and pelican crossings to ensure that the correct measure is used in the correct position. The NRA Design Manual for Roads and Bridges gives guidance on the assessment criteria for the provision these features. This Guidance will be considered by Donegal County Council when assessing the suitability of a location for a controlled crossing. 

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