Rattling manhole woes eased for residents

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle beside the sunken manhole at the top of Chapel Road, and the junction of Priory Lane. (0510SJ20)
SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle beside the sunken manhole at the top of Chapel Road, and the junction of Priory Lane. (0510SJ20)

Residents living near a sunken manhole in Dungiven that rattled each time traffic drove over it are hoping to get a better nights sleep now that NI Water have fixed it.

While it may only measure roughly two-foot square, the noise from thousands of vehicles thundering over the manhole in recent days at the top of Chapel Road and Priory was “unreal”, according to a councillor and neighbouring resident who live just metres away.

“This is the main road between Derry and Belfast and the traffic is very heavy,” said SDLP councillor Michael Coyle on Wednesday morning. “It’s a residential area and a manhole cover has rattled for months, if not years, simply because, I believe, the manhole has dropped. Every so often NI Water Service come out and repair it and things are okay for a month or two, but with the amount of traffic and heavy lorries coming down this road, of course, the same thing happens again.”

Colr. Coyle contacted NI Water, who he said pledged to make repairs, which is exactly what they did on Wednesday night.

A spokesperson for NI Water: “NI Water received a complaint from a member of the public on Monday (01 October) regarding a rattling manhole cover on Chapel Road, Dungiven. Engineers quickly attended the site and carried out an inspection. NI Water can now confirm that repairs were completed on the manhole on 3rd October. NI Water would like to thank the public for their patience while the repair work was completed.”

Colr. Coyle welcomed the work, but said a permanent solution was needed.

“I knew they would carry out the repairs and I knew they would do that fairly quickly, and the quality of the work has been excellent and the response was good, but NI Water need to do a permanent, more long-term repair for the people who live around here. You can imagine what it’s like for people who are sleeping, and maybe have to get up for work, if they don’t get that proper sleep. It’s extremely irritating.”

One resident whose home is just metres away from the main road described the noise from the rattling manhole, especially when lorries speed over the manhole, as “unbelievable”.

“You would hardly believe it, but it was unreal to suffer that,” he said. “It was continual and, especially bad with the lorries, and there’s not much a gap between them. It was the most annoying thing to listen to on a continual basis. It’s not even that it was happening every hour, it was non-stop”.