DAMAGE to the Rossorry Church Road due to an ‘unofficial’ diversion as a result of a £200,000 resurfacing scheme on the Sligo Road will be repaired, the Department for Infrastructure has said. 
After part of the Sligo road was closed periodically to accommodate the work last month a number of heavy goods vehicles, vans and cars caught up in tailbacks opted to drive past the former Grosvenor barracks.
However, considerable damage, as reported by The Impartial Reporter last week, was caused to the grass verges on either side of the narrow road leading onto the Rossorry Church Road. 
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Infrastructure said: “Rossorry Church Road is not part of the official diversion route but some drivers have chosen to use it as short cut and consequently this has resulted in damage to grass verges.
“The damaged verges will be repaired by DfI Roads once the A4 Sligo Road resurfacing scheme is complete,” she said.
The scheme, which ran for one kilometre from the Coleshill Road to Rossorry Link Road, and aimed to deliver “significant improvements” to the structural integrity and the road surface quality of the Sligo Road, was completed on target last Thursday (August 31) and the road was reopened.
Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said the resurfacing of the road which she claimed carries about 12,500 vehicles, on average, per day is “very welcome.”
“Hopefully it will provide many years of good surface free from potholes,” she said.
However, Mrs. Barton criticised the traffic management, saying it had been “very disappointing with traffic gridlocked across town for those drivers both trying to enter and exit the town.”
“Following numerous complaints, I contacted a senior engineer in Omagh regarding the problem and was further concerned there had been a failure to assess the traffic delays and make any adjustments to their traffic management,” she said.
Mrs. Barton said questions “need to be asked” about the suitability of the diversion route to carry such a large volume of traffic and how much preparation was carried out to make the diversion suitable. 
“Could the pre work on the road before the surfacing not have been carried out with temporary traffic lights and a single lane closed and could contractors have worked extended hours during times of less traffic?
“This gridlock that both commuters and businesses have had to endure demonstrates that there is an even greater need than ever before for the Executive and the Department for Infrastructure to prioritise the construction of the southern distributor bypass,” Mrs. Barton told this newspaper.