This website provides information on the development of the Republic of Ireland's road network.
It serves as an archive of the progress made in developing a motorway network over the last few decades, and also has updates on new road schemes nationwide.
Details of the current situation are given on the Current Road Programme
The full list of all projects, past, present and future, are on the Full Project List
Below can be found some maps and news items
The rest of the maps are on the Maps
page, and some general miscellaneous information is here.
Finally, the Futures
page has a wishlist of projects that would be useful in the long term.
Note that this is a wishlist and there is no plan to build any of these as of yet.
The N17 Claremorris Lisduff Interchange opened on 3rd March.
This grade-separates a major road junction east of Claremorris and is a big safety improvement.
Although not yet visible in aerial imagery, the works can be seen in Google Streetview.
Although previously planned to open in stages, the N5 Castlebar-Westport scheme is now going to open in its entirety in April with an official ribbon-cutting in May.
However, it seems that the Westport northern bypass section will probably not be part of this opening, as it still is not paved.
Castlebar to the roundabout east of Castlebar will likely be the extent of the planned opening.
There is no funding or progress for the N52 Tullamore-Kilbeggan upgrade, with the Green Minister for Transport stating that the road could be 10-15 years away.
This is probably because the improvement is entirely due to high levels of traffic and not for safety reasons, which are enough to cancel it in the eyes of the Green Party.
The Traffic Counts have been updated for 2021 and 2022.
The post-pandemic rebound can be clearly seen nationwide, though levels are still marginally below 2019.
Traffic on the M50 has reached astonishing heights. At Cloverhill, between the N4 and N7 junctions, the count is now 151,000 vehicles per day, and the whole way between Ballymun and Lucan is above 140k.
On Monday, the High Court officially quashed planning permission for the Galway Bypass project.
In a mystifying move, Galway City Council is going to re-submit its planning application in such a way that it still complies with the government's Climate Action Plan.
It is hard to see how this could lead to anything other than more years of delays, litigation and deadlock.
From the RTE article:
Permission for the 18km route was cancelled last October after it emerged that An Bord Pleanála had failed to consider the State's Climate Action Plan before granting approval in November 2021.
The plan, detailing how carbon emissions will be reduced by 51% by 2030, was published just days before the decision to grant permission for the N6 Galway City Ring Road.
It should have been factored into the process.
Now, the proposal is to go back before the board.
However, instead of having to go through the entire planning process once more, the project will be reviewed from the point at which the Inspector’s report on the application was first submitted to the planning board.
The Minister for Transport, Green Minister Eamon Ryan, has immediately dismissed this idea:
"It's vital that all our transport plans deliver the 50pc reduction in emissions we need this decade and go net zero in three [decades]," he said.
"The National Transport Authority, the local authority and our department are going to have to look at a new transport strategy for Galway that meets that climate target.
You can’t just go ahead and build roads that have an induced traffic system that means you can’t meet the climate targets.
So the plans for Galway are going to have to change. The exact elements of that, the combination of new public transport and other infrastructure, will be the outcome of that process."
This RTE piece has a 20-minute deep-dive on the issues.
Galway Chamber of Commerce claims the city's reputation is at risk.
Finally, Galway West Deputy Eamon O'Cuiv, clearly getting desperate, is calling for critical infrastructure projects to be excluded from Government emission targets.
He claims the government's climate policy is incoherent.
This city project is a textbook example of pitting road construction against public transportation, a futile battle because both must be accommodated in appropriate amounts.
In other news, the preferred route corridor has been announced for N17 Collooney-Knock. The map can be explored at the link. Here is a rundown:
From the Collooney end, a short section of the existing road will be upgraded by widening.
From there Ballynacarrow will be bypassed closely to the north.
The new road will pass Tobercurry a fair distance, about 2 km, to the north and west.
It will then run to the east of Charlestown and somewhat surprisingly is planned to intersect the N5 very close to the existing N5/N17 junction, which is grade-separated.
Since the new road will need to be grade separated too, it's not clear if two separate but close junctions will be built or if one new merged junction will be provided.
The old N17 here will not see much traffic after the new one is built so maybe the existing slips could be removed entirely and no access provided.
That would clear the way for the new road to have all the slips - and it looks like four sets of two would be needed since both the new N17 and the N5 shouldn't have median breaks or at least traffic should be prevented from turning across the opposing lane.
South of there, the new alignment ends at Knock Airport.
The scheme section from the airport to Knock has been dropped and the existing route is now only marked as "maintained" rather than improved.
This is a pity, as although the road has been improved in the last few decades, it is still not a very high standard.
The total length of road that will be improved is now 40 kilometres.
Regarding the road width, there is no news on whether this will be a dual carriageway or a single.
Although it was described as a dual some years ago, a Green Minister for Transport coupled with recent decisions to reduce the scale of other schemes (e.g. N2 Slane Bypass) means that this road may now only be built as a single carriageway.
This would still represent a game-changing improvement from its current standard, however.
In terms of timescale, it has been announced that there could be 4 phases for this road, so it could take over a decade to deliver in full.
Presumably a priority will be the Tobercurry bypass phase.
More detail has been announced on the plan for the N2 Slane Nypass.
The article shows a diagram of the public realm improvements that are planned for the existing bridge and streets.
Footpaths will be widened, the road carriageways narrowed and new green spaces added.
A planning application is expected to be lodged for the bypass in the first half of 2023 according to previous reportage.
The beleaguered N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue project could restart in June 2023, according to this article from last month.
The scheme was awarded to a contractor last year but sadly the outfit went into receivership and the contract was terminated.
It usually takes up to a year for a scheme to be retendered and awarded again - this is what happened with the M8/N25/N40 Dunkettle Interchange project in Cork.
A more exact routing for the N24 Cahir-Limerick Junction scheme has been released.
The project would run from M8 Junction 10 west to Oola beside Limerick Junction railway station and features a bypass of Tipperary Town.
If built, the new road would replace by far the lowest-standard section of the N24.
The rest of the N24 from Oola to Limerick is straight with good sightlines, and from N24 to Waterford has many bypassed sections but the bypasses (especially Clonmel) tend to be of low quality.
There has been commentary from Eamon Ryan, the Minster for Transport, that the Tipperary Town bypass element may be prioritised over the rest of the project, but that is speculative for now.
It has been reported that three judicial reviews have been lodged against the M21 Adare-Foynes motorway project.
Based on what happened with the M28 project in Cork, these cases can be expected to add 2-3 years before construction can begin.
It was due to begin in 2 years (2025) so this target may be missed.
The target to have the scheme ready for the Ryder Cup in Adare by 2027 will probably not be met, but this event was never the most important factor at play.
There have been plans to bypass Adare for decades.
The Castlebar section of the new N5 will open at the end of January, with the remainder of the scheme by April, as reported in the news.
Here is the latest update on the Dunkettle Interchange project.
It mostly focuses on the eastern segment of the scheme where the new Little Island interchange has been formed.
An interchange will be built at the Tower Road junction at Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.
This should take around 12 months to construct based on previous schemes.
There was an increase in the number of road fatalities nationwide in 2022, with 155 deaths compared with 137 fatalities in 2021.
This is as reported by the RSA.
Any increase is regrettable but this still compares well historically and the figure was 158 as recently as 2017.
Over the decades the rate has fallen by nearly 70% from figures in the high 400s in the 1990s.
Most fatalities were males and most were in rural areas.
The 8 km Macroom Bypass opened in Cork on 9th Dec.
This bypass was promised for decades and it has been a long slow road to get to this point.
Construction has taken nearly 3 years, having kicked off in January 2020.
The project offered numerous geographical and geological barriers.
Some videos are available on Twitter: the official ribbon cutting ceremony, and a drive-through.
The remaining 14 kilometres of the scheme were previously estimated to be open within 6 months but the RTE article states this is envisaged for 2024 now.
The first stage of a big upgrade of the M11/N11 in Wicklow now has its details established on a scheme website.
There will be bus lanes both ways from Loughlinstown roundabout on the N11 at Shankill as far south as Junction 6.
There will be a northbound bus lane from Junction 8 to 9 which will involve the closure of accesses to residential dwellings, which will be diverted to the side road network.
There will be an active travel lane (walking and cycling) southbound on that stretch.
A graphical mock-up of the to-be scenario appears on Board 06 of the Banners document, and detailed design diagrams on pages 9-12 on the Drawings (aerial photos) document.
The works area is also drawn on the Map Viewer.
A number of new movements are possible at Dunkettle Interchange in Cork, as new slips opened on 20th Nov.
A fly-through video of the area has been uploaded by Drone Hawk.
After much speculation on the subject, a major change has been announced to the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney project.
A temporary roundabout will be constructed during November to enable a part comprising an 8 km bypass of Macroom to open on December 9 of this year in time for Christmas.
This is as reported in the media.
The location of the temporary roundabout will not have permanent access in the final arrangement, so the measure will only be use by traffic until the rest of the road is completed some time next year.
Once it is all open, there will be a Macroom North junction and a Macroom South junction.
The next junction will be far to the west on the way to Ballyvourney.
Note that as of now, the aerial imagery of the junction location is many years out of date, so the construction line of the new road cannot yet be seen.
Two judicial reviews have been launched against the M21 Adare-Rathkeale-Foynes scheme.
The reviews simply mean that the granted planning permission is being challenged for legality by the public.
There are no details yet on who lodged them or why.
It has gotten to the point in Ireland that this type of legal challenge has simply become par for the course for major road schemes.
It may take a year or two but since construction on the project was not due to begin until around 2025, it may not even delay the project's start date.
The preferred route for N2 Ardee-Castleblayney has been made available on a GIS site.
The scheme incorporates the 2005 Carrickmacross bypass, which will be dualled, and 6 new grade-separated junctions will be provided.
Two existing junctions at Carrickmacross will be modified and expanded.
Planning permission for the highly controversial M6 Galway Bypass has been quashed (annulled), as reported in the media.
The case was taken by Friends of the Irish Environment and An Bord Pleanala (Irish Planning Board) conceded that they had granted permission without taking into account the government's latest Climate Action Plan, which had been published a mere 4 days previously.
The Board will now re-examine the planning application in the light of the Climate Plan.
There is no certainty the road will ever be built as inflation in the construction sector is so high and there is no doubt this road will facilitate car use in the city of Galway, which is against national policy.
Separately there is a Bus Connects plan for Galway which will see the reorganisation of the city's bus system and the provision of bus and cycle lanes.
A wondrous drone video of the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway project shows the archaeology work that has taken place along the route - the digging of test trenches and completion of fencing and moving of utilities.
The scheme is on track to start construction in 2024.
The beleaguered N5 Scramoge-Ballaghaderreen single-carriageway road scheme will be retendered on Dec 22.
Hopefully it will restart (more accurately just "start") some time next year.
Recent reportage speculated that the delay could last to the end of next year, however.
The large difference in progress on the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme seen between the Macroom Bypass (section 1) and the rest of the scheme (section 2) can be seen in recent drone videos.
At this time, Stage 1 is surely ready for an early opening if they could manage a temporary tie-in somehow.
No announcement to this effect has been made yet however.
Here are some video drone updates on the Dunkettle scheme and the Macroom scheme.
The first half of the M8/N25/N40 Dunkettle video focuses on the local road network coming together to the northeast of the interchange, and the new flyover at Little Island.
Later on in the video the southern half of the area is covered.
The very end shows the place where there is currently an offslip from the roundabout into an industrial area right in front of the tunnel entrance.
From the layout of the new roads, it looks like this will be removed soon.
The Macroom video features some of the usual (from that drone operator) exciting flybys with the drone entering underpasses and culverts.
The latest news is that the eastern part of this new road will open before the west.
When dates are available they will be announced here.
And now for a timelapse video of the N3 Snugborough Interchange project.
The concrete beams for the second bridge are lifted into position at night, as a series of long flatbed trucks queue up, each with 2 or 3 beams aboard.
Closure of a carriageway was needed each time, but the bridge is now structurally complete and only needs paving and finishing works.
This video on the N5/N59 Castlebar-Westport scheme shows the advanced state of construction in the eastern half of the project and the primitive state of the western part, and especially north of Westport.
Latest news is that the N5 segment may open first with the N59 single carriageway north of Westport delayed to later.
Updates on the M4 Maynooth-Leixlip improvement scheme have been made available on the dedicated portal website.
Some improvement options have now been discounted and are off the table.
- Widening to 6 lanes with bus lanes
- Improving Junction 7 Maynooth and building a new junction immediately to the west
- Closing J7 Maynooth, converting to overbridge and building a new junction to the west and a new junction to the east
- Parallel single carriageway road closely following the motorway
The options that are still in play are:
- Adding bus lanes with no widening
- Adding bus lanes and widening from 2 to 3 lanes outbound (westbound)
- Improving J7 Maynooth
- Closing J7 Maynooth, converting to overbridge and building a new junction to the west
- Improving J6 Celbridge
- Improving existing overbridges
The M21/N69 Adare Bypass/Foynes road has cleared planning permission after nearly 3 years awaiting a decision.
The process was subject to endless delays and the deadline for a decision was repeatedly pushed out, which was strongly criticised by business and political leaders.
"The development will include around 15.6km of dual carriageway between Foynes and Rathkeale along with more than 17Km of motorway between Rathkeale and the existing motorway network at Attyflin near Patrickswell."
There have been plans for an Adare bypass for decades.
The scheme will create a new motorway, M21, and in conjunction with the new N69, there will be a whole new road between Limerick and its port at Foynes.
A map of the scheme can be found on the M21 page on this site.
The M20 motorway project between Limerick and Cork is moving one more step along, with the announcement that the tender for archaeological services has been released.
The project will involve building a motorway along the line of the existing N20 from north of Croom, Limerick to Blarney in Cork, and improvements to Limerick (Rail) Junction to enable zero-change railway journeys between the two cities.
Additionally there will be 80 kilometres of walking and cycling improvements in the villages and towns along the route.
The Government have put out Prospects 2022 - Ireland's Major Infrastructure Pipeline which contains expected start dates and costings for major road projects.
Sadly, only 4 major schemes (i.e. costing more than 20 million euro and therefore requiring ministerial/cabinet signoff) are due to start by end 2027, which is more than a 5-year period.
The good news is that all 4 are very large:
- N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy (this will be a motorway): 2024-2028
- N21/N69 Limerick to Adare to Foynes (this will be a motorway): 2025-2028
- Galway City Ring Road (not confirmed that this will be a motorway): 2026-2029
- M20 Cork-Limerick (a motorway) : 2027-2031
So from 2024 to 2027 there will be one motorway or near-motorway construction start per year.
It's worth noting that these will likely be the last motorways to ever be constructed in Ireland as no more are planned at this time.
Previously it was announced that the new N5 Castlebar-Westport scheme, which had been due to open in October of this year, was delayed to Q2 2023.
This has now been refined to 18 April 2023, according to TII board minutes.
The N17 Knock-Collooney scheme will have a preferred route published in October.
This is after several delays. As it is a long scheme and will be dual carriageway, it will be constructed in segments.
Hopefully the northern half is first as it is currently very low standard.
The latest M8/N40/N25 Dunkettle interchange video showcases the significant progress made so far.
In particular at 6:00 and 8:10 the complex merge/diverge between M8 and N25 onto N25 Eastbound can be seen to take shape.
These merges will join the N25 eastbound at this point but a lane will also diverge to the new Little Island Interchange.
The latter's overbridge can be seen to be structurally complete with only paving to be done.
In a similar way to how the N17 southeast of Claremorris is having a new junction installed to replace dangerous side accesses, the N5 Swinford bypass is planned to have the same.
Two new "bridges" as the journalist calls them, which hopefully will be full grade-separated junctions allowing exit and entrance in both directions, are to be built on the route.
This is to address safety concerns as the locations are accident blackspots.
The bypass was originally built in 1996.
The N5 Ballaghderreen-Scramogue single carriageway road was suspended in March when the contractor went into receivership.
Now there is news that the project will be retendered and recommence early next year:
"...expressions of interest have been received and ... it is envisaged that the contract will be awarded in the first quarter of 2023 with [completion] of the project to take three years."
A new video showing site preparation for the M28 Ringaskiddy Motorway has been released.
It shows significant topsoil strip in the first 30 seconds followed by archaeological test trenches.
The latter are dug in order to see if any ancient artifacts or structures can be found under the ground.
At 2:09 the future road will pass between a new housing development and a roundabout north of Carrigaline.
The video ends just before the new road will merge into the existing N28 (which will be widened) at Maryborough Ridge.
Main construction will start in 2024.
The Wexford People newspaper has run this article recently on the N11/N25 Oilgate-Rosslare scheme:
Wexford TD and Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne T.D. has confirmed that an application for the funding of the Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour Motorway Bypass Extension was made to the EU Commission and a positive announcement is expected imminently.
A new grade-separated (flyover-style) junction is being built on the N17 south of Claremorris.
Here is a recent tweet that gives an overview of the progress of the structure so far.
The junction is expected to open in Q1 of next year.
The Government supported Wexford County Council's application for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility to ensure the delivery of the N11/N25 Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour motorway scheme.
"The application relates to funding to complete the design and planning phase and funding is expected in the amount of €2.7 million."
"Extending the M11 motorway from Oylegate to Rosslare is a priority for the Government. I was delighted to get the project restarted following its stopping under the previous Government. This funding will help to speed up the delivery of the motorway extension," Minister Browne concluded.
The options selection reports have been released for the N3-M50 improvement scheme near Dublin.
The option chosen was to widen into the median from 4 to 6 lanes.
The reports go into more detail on the project.
Appendix C has detail on the junction improvements and closures of direct property accesses, and this document has the relevant maps.
There are a few direct accesses to the road from adjacent properties.
These will be rerouted to the local road network.
It is planned to keep the left-in-left-out at Parslickstown.
This does not seem like a good choice as it is very close to the nearby grade-separated junction.
It would have been better for the roads there to feed into the nearby grade-separated junction.
The document also mentions that they are still thinking of reclassifying Clonee-M50 as motorway.
The preferred route for N4 Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod has been announced.
It is on page 7 of that document.
Notably, the route follows the existing N4 for the whole eastern leg.
Since it is intended to be dualled, some parts of this may involve widening the existing road and for others a new dual carriageway will be built right alongside the old road.
It is also interesting that a new urban street in the northern end of Carrick-on-Shannon will be constructed, even though it will not connect with the rest of the scheme.
Also with a preferred route is the N24 Cahir-Limerick Junction road. The route can be found on the document portal and in interactive map form here. The scheme will not be a motorway, but a dual carriageway or a mixture of dual and single, which seems reasonable.
The new road will start on Junction 10 on the M8. The N24 will flow straight through and not require motorists to use the M8 for part of the journey. This would have been planned all along when the M8 was built.
- It will head north, then west. At the village of Bansha there will be a link road to connect to the new road.
- Tipperary Town will be bypassed to the north, and as with the N4 proposal, new link roads for the town will be included which do not connect directly with the bypass.
- The new road then follows a wide part of the existing road northwest of the town past Limerick (Railway) Junction before bypassing the village of Boreen to the south.
- Finally it terminates about a kilometre before the village of Ballyluddy.
The scheme seems ambitious as despite the name it continues well beyond Limerick Junction and it is good to see local roads being added to Tipperary Town which should encourage more compact development.
The map on this site has been updated for this and the N4 scheme.
This month is a bonanza for the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme, with not one but two drone videos up. They show the Coolcower (east) end of the scheme nearing completion, fueling speculation that it may open later this year in advance of the rest.
The N52 Tullamore-Kilbeggan road was one of the victims of defunding for 2022, and it now seems that councillors consider the project to be dead in the water.
Construction on the N69 Listowel Bypass kicked off today as Minister for State Hildegarde Naughton visited the site to turn the first sod.
The 6 km single carriageway will cost €61M and will bypass the town to the north, resulting in an expected 40% reduction in traffic.
The town is a popular tourist hotspot.
Route options have been made available for the N24 Waterford-Cahir scheme.
In the Constraints Maps, the coloured route proposals start at the M8 Junction 10 north of Cahir.
All routes pass north of Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir.
The new road will merge into a widened Piltown-Fiddown scheme before finishing up at Granny interchange, the junction with the M9.
This will be a dual carriageway but is a long way from making it to construction, both due to the government placing less emphasis on road building and because its planning started late.
The preferred route corridor for the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway has been announced.
The details are on the official scheme web site.
The document showing the maps is here.
A TD has tweeted the announcement including a map of the proposed scheme.
The route corridor right now is 500 metres wide.
Since only a small part of that will actually be required, even if the current route appears over a particular property this does not necessarily mean that the property will have to be acquired.
The details of this will be worked out in future project phases.
A detailed description of the path the road will follow is here reproduced from the scheme brochure:
"The preferred option commences just south of the Blarney junction and remains largely online to maximise the reuse of the N20 until it diverges eastward near Mourneabbey.
Remaining to the east of the N20 it crosses the River Blackwater, the N72, the N73 and the River Awbeg as it bypasses to the east of Mallow and Buttevant until it converges with the existing N20 north of Buttevant.
It then remains close to the N20 until it diverges westwards near Ballyhea, bypassing to the west of Charleville, before re-joining the N20 south of Croom.
The preferred option reuses the N20 Croom Bypass and then diverges at Garranroe and
runs west of the existing N20 until it reaches its tie in point with the existing M20/N21 at Attyflin."
Additionally the preferred option for the rail improvements between the two cities has been announced.
The plan is to utilise the existing rail corridor but to eliminate the need to change trains at Limerick Junction and increase the linespeed.
A missing movement will be added at the junction to allow trains to travel between Limerick and Cork without the need for passengers to disembark and change trains.
Separately there was a long term plan to double-track the Limerick to Limerick Junction segment but seemingly this work will not take place at this time.
The most recent drone video of the Dunkettle Interchange project shows the progress made so far in a timelapse.
Here is the running commentary:
0:00 The old M8 layout.
Additionally, this video illustrates "Link U", the N25 West->M8 North link road.
This can be seen to be nearly complete with only signing and lining left.
Much of the work for this link was completed a few years ago as part of enabling works, and is only now being tied into the rest of the interchange and opened to traffic.
0:13 M8 southbound road surface broken up.
0:38 Temporary tie-in for new M8 northbound movement.
0:46 M8 northbound road surface broken up.
0:54 Road completely removed.
1:37 Old M8 bridge deck removed.
2:00 Close shot over the old M8
2:39 New M8 South to N25 East ramp looks nearly ready for use
2:48 Same for new N25 West to M8 north movement
3:03 Heading west, the new road for N25 West to new N25 junction east of Dunkettle is coming together
3:31 The new N25 junction east of Dunkettle
3:53 Some seriously large retaining walls on the south side of that junction.
4:08 The new N25 East to M8 North movement. This needs a lot of bridges to get it over the existing roundabout and N25 east-west flyover.
4:27 New M8 with railway line.
Regarding the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway, here's a great drone update covering The Port - Carr's Hill, confusingly labelled 3rd April 2022.
There is a lot of topsoil strip, probably for archaeology or testing ground conditions.
Looks like a lot of pylons will need to be moved.
Things are moving on the N24 Waterford-Limerick route, according to this article:
"The preferred route from Cahir to Limerick Junction is to be announced in May, while the six preferred options between Cahir and Waterford will be announced in June. "
Bad news has been announced regarding Roadbridge, a venerable Irish construction company that employs over 600 people, as they are to go into receivership.
This will surely automatically terminate their contract to build the N5 Ballaghderreen-Scramogue road.
Although they were awarded the tender to build back in October 2021, no work had taken place since.
It is now clear that this was because of their financial issues, as they have considerable debts. From the article:
The company founded in Limerick by the late Pat Mulcair in the 1960's employs 630 people in Ireland, the UK and Sweden, and is involved in some of the biggest infrastructural road, energy and water projects in Ireland the UK and Europe.
Works on HS2 in England being undertaken by Roadbridge have also stopped.
It has been involved in the construction of the second runway at Dublin Airport, the Limerick Tunnel, and the Limerick Greenway.
It was working currently on the Coonagh-Knockalisheen distributor road in Limerick, and was recently appointed as contractor for the Ballaghadreen by-pass in Roscommon.
"It is with regret that, as result of insurmountable financial challenges, the Board of Roadbridge Holdings Ltd announces that it has requested Bank of Ireland to appoint receivers to the company," Roadbridge said in a statement this afternoon.
It is unlikely the government will simply be able to award the N5 contract to the second best bidder when they put the scheme to tender, as inflation, especially of fuel, is so high that the cost of building the scheme will have increased significantly so may have to be re-tendered.
This will add more delay. I have moved the scheme on the project tracker out of construction and back into Schemes To Start Soon.
In other news, there has been a reversal on some of the recent decisions to defund road schemes. The N24 Waterford-Cahir dual carriageway and the new N4 Longford-Mullingar road are the beneficiaries.
This was after ministers lobbied Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). The N4 will get €1M which should allow it to proceed to preferred route, and the N24 €2M which will allow its route selection to continue this year, with a final routing to be announced in late 2023.
Regarding the M11/N25 Oilgate-Rosslare scheme, it has been decided that this project is a high priority (next in line after the new M21 and M28 motorways) and that a Motorway Services Area (MSA) will also be provided as part of the scheme's development.
This will also provide truck parking for those HGVs on the way to or from Rosslare Harbour, a port whose goods traffic has been increasing rapidly since Brexit.
Archaeological works are ongoing on the route of the future M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway.
The linked tweet has photos showing the topsoil strip. This scheme is on track to commence construction in 2024.
A newsletter has been released for the N11/N25 Oilgate-Rosslare scheme.
The long and short of it is that the project team expect to lodge their planning application in 2023.
With 6-12 months for a decision and a year for procurement, this would see construction tentatively start in 2025.
The scheme is expected to extend the M11 as motorway to somewhere west of Wexford with a lower-standard dual carriageway the rest of the way to Rosslare Harbour, where the new road would meet a port whose freight volumes are expanding rapidly in the wake of Brexit.
The Option Selection Report for the N2 Ashbourne-Kilmoon Cross scheme has been published. Here are some extracts.
On page 7-74 (PDF page 200), section "126.96.36.199 Analysis":
"A Type 1 Dual Carriageway cross-section has been proposed for all route options".
Separately it is confirmed that motorway would be "excessive" so the Type 1 road will not open as one.
According to the section "188.8.131.52 Preliminary Junction Strategy", there will be no intermediate junctions, the northern tie-in will be a roundabout, and the southern tie-in a grade separated junction.
Previously it was hoped that the Tayto Park amusement park would get its own junction as it is a large traffic generator especially in summer and is currently expanding.
This is a preliminary strategy however and so is subject to revision.
From the section "184.108.40.206 Route Option E-2" (the chosen option), here is a description of the proposed route:
"This option consists of a section of online widening of the existing N2 from the tie in with the M2
motorway at the southern junction corridor at Rath ... This option then diverges from the existing N2 and bypasses the
Primatestown junction in an offline section to the west of the existing N2. The offline section crosses
the R155 ... The offline section then ties in with the existing N2 and the R152 at the northern junction corridor at Kilmoon."
It isn't clear if the "online widening" of the existing N2 will result in the removal of a parallel single-carriageway road in order to cater for local traffic or if a new road will be provided for this purpose.
The latter option is the more likely as it is best practice.
The much-beleaguered M6 Galway Bypass (Galway Transport Project) has had three Judicial Reviews lodged against its planning permission.
The first is by Friends of the Irish Environment (FoIE), the second by Brooks Timber & Building Supplies and the third is by Galway Race Committee.
The latter is surprising, as they already were the cause of huge extra cost being added to the project when they insisted on the road being tunnelled under their racecourse instead of passing a ground level.
This was agreed to, and their new complaint is that their stables will be affected.
The scheme continues to be controversial, with many people strongly against, but many others strongly in favour.
The CEO of Galway Chamber, Kenny Deery, has said that the opponents of the Galway City Ring Road are "not connected with reality".
In the audio clip included with that article, he points out that BusConnects (a project to improve bus facilities in the city), numerous cycling projects and rail upgrades are also planned for the city.
The Minister for Enterprise, Leo Varadkar, who is also the Tánaiste (junior prime minister), has publicly endorsed the road, directly opposing a request from FoIE asking for his support in their legal challenge.
From the article:
"The organisation [FoIE] said that even if the parties did not support its position on the project, Government parties should support the right of environmentalists to access the courts."
Watch this space.
The M21/N69 Adare Bypass/Foynes road has had its planning decision postponed many, many times.
It now seems a result will finally appear "next month", i.e. in March.
Adare has planned a bypass for decades, and the scheme will effectively create an entirely new route between Limerick and its port at Foynes, via the M20, new M21 and new N69 dual carriageway.
There is bad news on the N5 Castlebar-Westport dual carriageway, which has seen its completion date slip by half a year.
Previously it was announced that this was on target to open in October 2022, but the latest update is that "Q1/Q2 2023" is the expectation.
This is more than a year away.
From the article the Horsepark overbridge and the two railway overbridges have a long way to go, as they only have their parapet (vertical supporting) walls done with the decking (horizontal part the traffic will drive on) still to be completed.
This and other issues may be the reason for the large slippage.
The N78 Athy Southern Distributor (which is actually a trunk road connecting the M9 directly to Kilkenny) has started construction according to Twitter.
This 3.7 km single carriageway runs within the built-up area of Athy and will take 2 years to build.
The new grade-separated junction on the N17 south of Knock will start construction in the next few days.
N25 Carrigtwohill-Midleton was one of the projects that did not receive funding this year.
Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber CEO was scathing in his criticism of this decision:
"In line with the immense progress being made on the Midleton to Cork cycleway, and the EU funded dual rail track upgrades to Midleton, there was an opportunity to create an exemplary multimodal transport corridor in the short to medium term but incredibly this is now indefinitely delayed."
The switchover for the M8 South at the Dunkettle Interchange has taken place as visible in the latest video of the project.
The 4-lane structure over the rail line is now carrying two southbound lanes. The other two lanes, which are not yet in use, will carry the northbound M8 lanes.
An overview of the whole building project can be seen - it is looking very impressive. The end of the new section where it meets the roundabout is also visible on the traffic cameras.
Another video shows the west-east view.
There have been slippages in the start dates of two projects.
Nothing was heard from the Listowel bypass since it missed its deadline to begin construction in Q3 2021, and now it has been announced that work is further delayed until mid-February.
The new road will bypass the famous tourist village on the north side, connecting the N69 to the R553 Ballybunion road.
Ballybunion is also a tourist destination, famous for its beach.
Things are at a total standstill with the N5 Ballaghaderreen-Scramogue road.
This officially started construction on 18th Oct 2021 but it is now estimated that actual work will not start until "March or April".
It does not sound like there is a strong sense of urgency.
There is better news on the N59 Moycullen bypass.
Although this was also delayed, having supposed to start in Q3 2021, it seems it finally started construction today Friday 28th Jan.
The 4.3 km single carriageway will bypass the town to the northeast. It will take 2 years to build.
Here is a lengthy and thorough video on the progress that has been made so far on the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney bypass.
It features exciting drone action, flying low under barriers and bridges and sometimes very high up.
Work on all bridges looks advanced, apart from one at 5:00.
There are deep cuttings at 2:40 and 3:40 and a giant one still half done at 10:10.
A large borrow pile can be seen at 4:47.
From 6:10 to 8:05 there is difficult terrain and little progress. Presumably efforts will shift from elsewhere to this section soon.
A future grade-separated junction is taking shape at 8:15.
Numerous construction plant vehicles are parked up at 9:45, and a long bridge right after.
At 10:50 there is the tie-in to the existing road to Killarney.
The scheme is on track to be completed by Q2 2023.
A couple of corrections to the last post. It has emerged that the N15 Ballybofey to Stranorlar and M40 Cork Northern Ring Road are still being funded, but rolled up into another funding envelope (for the N15) and under a different name (M40).
Unfortunately it now seems that two further schemes have been defunded for 2022:
- The N15 scheme will take place as part of the Donegal TEN-T funding envelope. The Government's press release mentioned "N13/N14/N56 Donegal TEN-T Project" which it seems does include this scheme (despite the fact that N15 is not listed in the numbers).
- M40 Cork Northern Ring Road is renamed "Cork City Northern Transportation Project" (presumably to downplay that it is a motorway) and has a new website https://www.ccntp.ie/ at which information can be found, though it is light on details.
To explain the funding shortfall this year, the TII clarified that:
- N11/M11 Jn 4 to Jn 14
- N59 Clifden to Maam Cross
"TII understands that there will be a significant ramping up of funding in the years 2026 to 2030 to enable delivery of the projects currently in the planning phase and identified in the NDP [National Development Plan] as being subject to further approvals."
In late December, the Government announced the transport allocations for 2022.
In terms of what will be funded, there were no surprises, but a number of schemes were omitted which means their design will not be progressed this year:
The next new start will be the beginning of major construction on the N5 Scramoge-Ballaghaderreen.
The official start of this scheme was late last year but as yet no work has taken place on site.
- N52 Kilbeggan to Tullamore
- N15 Ballybofey to Stranorlar
- M40 Cork Northern Ring Road
- N2 Clontibret-NI Border (though the southern part of this, Ardee-Castleblayney, is funded)
- N4 Mullingar - Longford - Rooskey
- N24 Waterford-Cahir (confirmed on their official scheme website)
- M25 Carrigtwohill to Midleton
- N25 Waterford to Glenmore (despite the fact that previously a planning application was due to be lodged by H2 2022).
2021 was an all-time low for road accident fatalities.
130 deaths occurred, which was the lowest since records began.
Road safety in this country has come along way since the early 2000s, when a death a day was occurring.
Good progress continues to be made on the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom scheme, as this video shows.
A decision on the M21 Adare Bypass and N69 Foynes link road is now due on Jan 28, 2022, as reported by Radio Kerry.
The long awaited bypass of Adare will be combined with a new road to Limerick's River Shannon port at Foynes.
Motorway tolls are to rise nationwide from January 2022.
Most will rise to €2 but on the M4 it will be €3. This is the first rise since 2013.
On the M50 for people using toll tags (most people) there will be no change and similarly the Dublin Port Tunnel will remain at €3 off peak and €10 at peak times.
A timelapse video showing progress on the N3 Snugborough Interchange project has been made available.
The website for the whole project is at this address.
As of now, major work progress is visible moving the water and sewer mains that run through the area.
These are the main impediments to structure building.
The contract was awarded in August 2021 with an 18-month duration so completion looks like happening in Jan 2023.
The N6 Galway Ring Road has been approved by An Bord Pleanala, the planning authority, as reported on RTE:
"An Bord Pleanála has approved a multi-million euro road project, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in Galway City.
The N6 Galway City Ring Road would comprise dual and single lane carriageways, over an 18 kilometre route.
A formal application for the ring road was submitted over three years ago. Since then, Compulsory Acquisition Notices have been issued to around 500 landowners along the favoured route.
The lead agency for the project, Galway County Council, estimates the road would take three years to construct. It would involve a number of tunnels, as well as a viaduct over the river Corrib.
The N6 Ring Road plan follows a failed attempt to construct a by-pass of Galway city more than a decade ago. The proposed road would cost at least €600 million."
It is not yet confirmed if the road will open as a motorway, or a motorway-standard dual carriageway.
In other news, the latest Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade video is highly informative, with traffic movements labelled and illustrated. Progress is coming along nicely.
The Preferred Routes for the N21 Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale bypasses have been decided.
Both of these bypasses will be on the Limerick-Tralee road.
Click here for the Newcastle West virtual consultation room.
The map can be found under "8.Preferred Route Corridor".
It passes to the north of the town and may include a link road to R521 which would improve connectivity to the town centre.
It will measure about 7.25 km and the standard will be dual carriageway.
The Abbeyfeale route is here.
It passes to the south of the town and is much straighter.
It will be 6.2 km long and also dual carriageway.
Both schemes should be ready for submission to the planning board by 2023.
The Government has published its transport investment plan for the next two decades.
Most projects will be public transport and active travel.
The Leinster Outer Orbital has been cancelled outright.
It appears on this site as M45 though it was never definitively assigned a number.
With changing priorities regarding road versus rail investment, it now seems unlikely to ever proceed.
The Eastern Bypass, a long-proposed continuation of the M50 from Dublin Port to Sandyford, is also cancelled but this is no surprise as the project was moribund for years.
It was however confirmed that the South Port Access Route will go ahead - this will connect the M50 tunnel entrance at the port to the south docks, using a high-level bridge.
This was also missed, but on 23 June 2021 it was announced that the route had been chosen for the N72 Mallow Bypass.
Mallow, in County Cork, is also due to be bypassed by the M20 motorway.
The new N72 route will pass around the town to the north and will be 4.1 km of single carriageway.
Here is the route on Google Maps.
The chosen route is the purple one on page 3 of this map and also appears on this consultation site.
The bypass will also be shadowed by a greenway.
Regarding timelines, the best case scenario is that a planning application will be lodged by the end of 2022, construction would start in 2025 and it would open in 2027.
In other news the tender was been awarded for the N78 Athy Southern Distributor.
This will create a single carriageway bypass of Athy in County Kildare which will be around 3.7 km long.
There is a low-quality photo of a map here.
Construction should start in a few weeks.
Maps of both of the above are visible on the Secondary Roads map on this site.
In the same way that the Galway Bypass was rebranded as something like Galway Tranportation Project, so it would hopefully include public transport and cycling facilities aswell as a new road, the Cork Northern Ring Road has been relaunched as "Cork Northern Transport Project".
It seems it will be a new road and a Park and Ride at a new Monard railway station.
A website has been launched, which is a little light on content for now.
This escaped my attention back in May 2021. The preferred route for the N25 Waterford-Glenmore scheme has been published.
The Navy route has been chosen. It appears from the map that the improvement will be along the line of the existing N25 on the northern half but will be a new build for the southern half.
Neither of the roundabouts at the scheme ends will be grade separated.
The standard will be basic dual carriageway instead of High Quality Dual Carriageway.
It is planning to submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanala in the second half of 2022.
The route and standard of the scheme has been updated on the map on this site.
This information was taken from this Boards.ie post.
There is great news in Roscommon today as construction has kicked off on the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge road scheme.
This 34 km single carriageway road will replace the last poor quality section of the N5.
It will cost €200 million and take 3 years to build.
The launch has been reported by others, too.
More detail on the scheme was in this article from a couple of weeks ago.
A map of the scheme appears on this site. Open this page and zoom in on Roscommon.
Plans to bypass Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West in County Limerick are progressing, with preferred routes to be announced by the end of the year.
There is a new grade-separated (flyover) junction to be constructed on the N17 south of Claremorris at this location.
Work is due to start next month as reported here.
There are already flyovers east and north of Claremorris on the N17.
This scheme will eventually be complemented by a dual carriageway south of there to Tuam.
The government's new National Development Plan (NDP) has been launched, covering 2021-2032.
Unlike previous plans, it does not feature road building very heavily.
This article explains more fully:
"In all €35 billion has been earmarked for transport spending until 2030.
All of the big roads projects contained in the Fine Gael government's plan from 2018 have been retained - including the M20 motorway from Cork to Limerick; the Galway City outer ring road; the co-funded A5 to Derry; the upgrade of the N4 from Mullingar to Longford; and the N24 from Limerick to Waterford.
While their inclusion was being presented by sources in both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael as a "win" for those parties, it was quietly acknowledged within Government circles that the programme for government commitment to a two-to-one ratio favouring public transport over roads, in addition to exacting climate-change obligations, would mean at least some of those projects would not be progressed.
While... the list of roads projects from the 2018 was included there would be very strong "caveats" in terms of prioritisation, and that would favour public transport over roads.
An example cited was the "M20" between Cork and Limerick which will be described in the plan as M20/N20, in effect meaning that some of the route will not be of motorway grade and will be downgraded."
This last is bad news indeed. There are no good outcomes from downgrading the new N20/M20 project.
Whether this means building it as single carriageway, or low standard dual carriageway, we are only kicking a can down the road.
The "downgraded" project will then have to be improved at great expense further in the future.
The following update was taken from the NDP accompanying documentation and is courtesy of Boards.ie:
"The N20 road corridor options are currently being progressed with Public Transport (Rail) alternatives as comparators.
The scheme is currently at Route Options Selection stage where all the road and rail options will be considered, with the preferred transport corridor expected to be announced by the end of 2021 [note: now expected Q1 2022].
Subsequent to this, work on scheme design and environmental evaluation will be undertaken, in addition to the scheme Business Case, which is required under the Public Spending Code (PSC).
The scheme Business Case is expected to be submitted to DPER in early 2023.
Subject to its approval, the submission of the statutory documents for the project to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) will follow thereafter."
Here is the latest drone video of the Dunkettle interchange which covers Dec 2020-Aug 2021. The latest news is found on the official site.
The Emerging Preferred Route for N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan improvement is visible now on the official project site. The virtual consultation room is here. To get straight to the map of the route click here.
The route starts at M6 junction 5 and follows the existing road for the first few hundred metres. At the Offaly border it swings east in order to run directly south of the starting point. It rejoins the existing road at the Silver River and follows the road until it reaches the Tullamore Bypass at a roundabout.
Unfortunately the N52 Ardee Bypass has now had its start date pushed out to Q3 2023.
The project has endured long delays due to controversy over one of its proposed junctions.
The reason for the latest timeline slippage seems to be that the junction will need to be redesigned which will require more land and probably another CPO.
The preferred route for the N11/M11 J4 to J14 Improvement scheme has been announced and is available to view in a virtual conference room.
Open up the room here. Rotate right and open up the map listed as "Interactive Map of Preferred Road Improvements".
This scheme brings into focus the fact that we really need to be thinking holistically about this type of thing, i.e. "how can we improve all transport options for passing between Dublin and Wicklow" instead of "how do we improve the N11 road." What we really need is to improve the road for cars, add missing side roads for cyclists and pedestrians, add bus lanes and provide more frequent buses, and double track and electrify the coastal rail line. Should all be one project ideally, but that's not this world.
As for the road improvements themselves, here are my observations:
- J4-J5 to be widened from 6 to 8 lanes by adding auxiliary lanes. If the M50 is widened to 6 lanes in future, this might need to be 10. Six of those would be the M50 lanes and 4 the N11 ones. Unusal layout in that the mainline would go from 4 N11 lanes to 6 M50 ones.
- Was initially disappointed that the Bray bypass will not be widened to 6 lanes mainline, but there isn't room along most of it and the new service roads will be functionally part of the road. Broadly happy with these new service roads as a solution. Glad that Herbert Road will no longer have its incredibly dangerous direct access to the mainline.
- The new J5 *might* work. The plan is have the N11 with north-facing ramps at J5, and south-facing at J6.
- Some thought should go into how the Luas will get through the new J5 as it will probably run along the west side of the M11 before crossing it at that junction to reach central Bray.
- That Luas line also envisaged a big P&R at Fassroe. But the plan now is to close that junction so NB car traffic would need to exit at Bray South and come up the new side roads to get to Fassroe. So it's no longer a great location for that P&R.
- No redesignation to motorway for J6 Fassaroe-J7 Bray South (and beyond). The N11 will no longer have stopping lanes, but that should not preclude it.
- Surprised and pleased with the new plan for J7 Bray South. Shows imagination.
- Happy with the new side roads and closures for the busy J8-J9, though some are vaguely defined as Phase 3.
- There is land for a new road south of J8 near Kilmurray west of the N11 connecting a potential new side road to the cottages, but no road is marked on the land so not sure if this has been finalised yet.
- Pity there will not be protected side routes for cyclists/pedestrians provided through Glen of the Downs. Happy with it otherwise, though they really should build a tunnel and narrow the surface dual carriageway.
- Happy with the changes to be made north and south of Kilpeddar, and complete closure of J10. These changes should have been made when new J11 was opened in 2008, but better late than never.
- Rap on the knuckles for no improvement to J12 SB offramp. This incredibly dangerous diverge nearly killed me many years ago. Notes say there may be further changes north of that in Phase 3, so fingers crossed.
- No improvement at all will be made to the junction layout at J13 at NTMK. No new side road between J13 and J14. Bus stop on the mainline just north of J14 to be retained. This means redesignation of J12-14 as motorway, which would have been very easy, is off the table. All very poor.
So broadly speaking, it seems the northern end of the scheme will greatly improve safety and, through the provision of new side roads, capacity. No change will be made to the Glen which is wise. They could have done better with the Newtownmountkennedy bypass. We'll see how the Green Minister for Transport views this scheme soon enough.
The 14.7 km N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin dual carriageway has opened to traffic today (information from before the opening is here).
It replaces the last poor quality section of the Dublin to Sligo road.
It isn't the final scheme that will take place on that route, though, as Mullingar-Longford-Carrick-on-Shannon is planned to be replaced with more dual carriageway within a decade.
For now, the mainline of the new scheme is open while work continues on side roads and tie-ins.
A new drone video of the Dunkettle Interchange project is available that shows the state of play as of this month.
The route options for the N17 Knock-Collooney scheme have been narrowed down as the latest map shows.
The main change from before is that routes which were far to the west or east of the existing road have been removed from consideration.
The routing proposals are particularly close to the current route of the N17 at either end of the scheme, running online (right on top of it) for the final few km.
The plan is to build this scheme as a dual carriageway.
The Emerging Preferred Route for the N3 Virginia bypass has been announced.
It can be found on the scheme website on the Publications page, and in the virtual consultation room.
Option C Variant 2 was chosen. This route continues the current end of the N3 north of Kells and runs alongside the N3 to the north.
A spur will connect the new route to the old a short distance east of Virginia.
It passes to the north of Virginia close to the town.
West of the town, a spur road connects southwest to the Ballyjamesduff road.
After that the new route will parallel closely the existing road before merging with it about 3.4 kilometres outside the town.
The map of the route on this site has been updated.
The N4 at Collooney looks nearly finished.
It is due to open on the "third or fourth week of August" according to this article.
N25 Carrigtwohill to Midleton preferred route has been announced (map on page 2).
There will be a new junction east of Carrigtwohill and new local service roads on one or both sides will be constructed.
Improvements may be made to the existing junction west of Midleton, at which point the scheme ends - there will be no change to the roundabout south of Midleton.
M11 Oilgate-Rosslare preferred route has also been announced.
Option C Combination 14 was chosen, and a map of the route is on page 355 of this document. The scheme has an official length of 31.1 km.
Here is a description of the route taken from the document:
"Option C (Option Combination 14) has been identified as the Preferred Option. It begins at the
southern end of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Scheme and passes east of Oilgate before joining
the existing N11 south of Oilgate and follows the existing N11 before crossing the River Slaney
west of Ferrycarrig Bridge. From here the option follows the same corridor as Option A, following
the existing N11 and the N25 (along the existing Wexford Ring Road) before passing southwest
of the existing Rosslare Road Roundabout. It then passes Stephenstown and continues east
running north of Tagoat and ends at Rosslare Harbour."
Surprisingly, under the Design Standards section on page 356, it says that the cross section throughout will be Type 1 Dual Carriageway with a design speed of 120kph.
Previously roads built to this standard in this country were usually opened as full motorways.
Up to now it had seemed likely that the standard on the southern half (Wexford-Rosslare) would be lower due to low traffic volumes, but it is possible the positive impact of Brexit on Rosslare Europort may have played a part in this decision.
To see a map of this scheme on this site, open the N25 page and scroll to the bottom.
Here is a good video of the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom scheme.
It was produced by a newspaper and features interviews with the contruction staff and a local estate agent.
Options for the N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction scheme have been whittled down.
Open the virtual consultation room, hover over the bottom-left book and click Brochure English.
Then scroll to the second last page to see the options map.
The Pink route is an online upgrade which probably won't be chosen as these usually aren't.
The Green Route runs south of the existing road, the yellow to the north, while the Blue route is a combination.
Starting from Limerick Junction, it runs along the existing route for a while before swinging to the south then crossing over to pass north of Tipperary town.
Then it runs to the north of the existing route to the end at Cahir.
A video is available showing the progress made on the huge Dunkettle interchange scheme in Cork.
Towards the end you can see works underway on the new Little Island interchange which is a short distance to the east of Dunkettle and is being built as part of the scheme.
Option C has been chosen for the N11 Oilgate-Rosslare improvement.
The choice is explained very well in this excellent video.
Briefy, the option mostly follows the existing alignment except at Ferrybank bridge and the last part near Rosslare.
It has been reported that the NTA no longer supports the N3 M50-Clonee improvement scheme, reported here as progressing only 10 days ago, since it does not align with climate change goals.
See photo 4 of this tweet, where a letter from the NTA gives further details:
"The revised Transport Strategy will have to take account of the various developments that have occurred... including Government policies related to sustainable transport... Accordingly it is considered that the N3-M50 to Clonee scheme will need to be reviewed..."
With this lack of backing, and a Green Minister for Transport, it seems this scheme may end in the bin, with bus improvements taking its place.
A preferred option has been chosen for the N3 Clonee-M50 scheme.
The option is DS2 Central Median Widening, together with some bus lane improvements.
This will add another lane each way bringing the total to six (8 for the short distance between Junctions 1 and 2).
It is notable that there is no mention of closing side accesses, a major cause of the deficiency of this section of N3, so it looks like the improvements will not result in the section being reclassified M3.
Currently a separate improvement project is taking place at Junction 2.
The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has signed off on the large N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue project, allowing it to proceed to construction shortly.
This will create a 35 km single carriageway replacement road on the N5 bypassing Strokestown, Tulsk and Frenchpark.
The archaeology for the scheme was so thorough that the route of the future road is already clearly visible on Google Maps.
The new road will pass a long way to the north of the existing one, straightening it out and avoiding the area of Tulsk with its numerous megalithic archaeological sites.
The scheme to upgrade the N24 between Waterford and Cahir now has a dedicated website.
The study area of the project, within which the final route will be chosen, is shown on this page.
Route selection, according to this page, will take 2 years - and therefore will conclude around May 2023.
Further consultation on the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway will take place, with a finalised route (including the road and rail elements) to be decided by September. The article also enigmatically states that it will be decided "what sections will be dual carriageway." This seems to suggest that not all the new road will be M20 and there could be single or lower-standard dual carriageway sections.
The huge N17 dual carriageway scheme from Knock to Collooney will have a preferred routing announced by the end of the year.
Before then, in mid-late July, a narrowed-down list of options will be announced.
The same information is also on the official website.
A website is now live for the Maynooth-Leixlip scheme.
For now the only document is the Feasibility Study.
See page 58 (PDF page 64) for the options list. It seems highly unlikely that new route alignments would be considered, or upgrades of the regional road network - the latter would simply push more traffic through the town centres.
Option 3 - upgrade of the existing route - seems almost inevitably to be the one that will be chosen.
Whether a motorway-widening scheme will get through planning with a Green Minister for Transport is another matter, however.
A virtual consultation room has been set up for the N4 Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod scheme.
The options map is here.
On the N3, an upgrade of Jct 2 Snugborough Interchange has begun.
This will double the overbridge and replace the roundabouts with signal-controlled junctions.
It will take 24 months to complete, so is expected by May 2023.
A detailed options map for N11/M11 upgrade in Wicklow has been made available.
This shows the potential route options in a high level of detail.
There are Cyan and Purple options as well as the Red option, which is an upgrade of the existing road.
The difference is that Cyan and Purple involve tunnelling to bypass the highly sensitive Glen of the Downs special conservation area, while Red continues through it on the existing alignment.
These options are a contest between an affordable but low quality improvement versus the expensive tunnel option which will future-proof the road for many decades.
A video of the recently-completed Sallins Bypass has been uploaded to Vimeo.
The N5 Westport-Castlebar scheme continues to make good progress.
Here it is with a stunning view towards Croagh Patrick.
The N2 Slane bypass is making progress.
It has been signalled that it is due for submission to An Bord Pleanala (Planning Board) by Q2 2022 - around a year away.
It aims to provide a short single carriageway bypass of this town which has an unusual layout and suffers greatly from traffic congestion, especially from trucks and lorries.
Some new drone videos of the Dunkettle are available.
There is one of the new side roads and cycle lanes and another that overflies the roundabout and M8.
The M50 around Dublin is due to get an overhaul to turn it into a "dynamic motorway".
These are often called "managed" or "smart" motorways abroad.
This involves adding gantries to indicate variable speed limits for each lane and some lanes may be closed if an incident occurs or there is very bad weather.
The speeds will be controlled by computer automatically.
Such changes will allow a greater management of the traffic on the road as lowering speed limits on a busy motorway actually improves throughput as it prevents stop-start traffic, a phenomenon that greatly contributes to accidents and congestion.
The new system requires legislative change and will cost €80 million.
Timeline maps were neglected but now have been updated with 2015-2021.
Use the animate button to play the sequence automatically.
There is also a large version and a Dublin-area version - follow the links to get to them.
Traffic counts have been updated for 2019 and 2020.
As you would expect, there has been a precipitous drop in traffic nationwide recently due to the pandemic.
For example, the M50 is showing a 40% drop in 2020 traffic levels at Turnapin (M50/M1 junction), a 30% drop at Finglas, and a 28% drop at the toll near Blanchardstown.
Here you can find more counts.
Particularly around Dublin, some of the drop-offs are so severe that, at least temporarily, they reduce the justification for road improvements.
For example it is planned to widen and improve the M11 from Dublin into Wicklow, but at Fassaroe traffic is down 26%, from 78,000 vehicles per day to 54,000.
The new Junction 9A on the M7 and the Sallins Bypass have finally opened to traffic, after endless delays.
As well as the town bypass, the scheme features a large new junction north of Naas and south of Sallins which connects to the bypass and to the Naas ring road.
The new roads have been officially under construction since late 2017/early 2018 and feature numerous under and overbridges as well as a cycling route from the bypass to the Grand Canal.
Some photos can be found here.
The huge 120-metre centrepiece bridge of the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom scheme was structurally completed in early March, as RTE reports:
"The local community came to witness the installation of the first section of steel bridge, which weighed 770 tonnes and measured 80 metres in length. The structure was constructed in Spain before being shipped to the Port of Cork. It took 20 truckloads to transport it to Baile Bhúirne, near Kerry border.
There is also a drone video if you like that sort of thing. The bridge is featured at 0:38.
Despite Covid-19, the construction of the N22 bypass is pushing ahead with a completion date of winter 2023 in sight."
The TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) have put out a quarterly report on road construction nationwide.
There has been some slight slippage of 2 of the schemes that were due to start this year.
The N69 Listowel bypass in Kerry will not kick off until Q4 while in Galway the N59 Moycullen bypass should get started in Q3.
The N52 Ardee bypass was due to start this year but is still in planning limbo.
It may still complete its redesign work soon which will clear the way for it to start construction before the end of the year as originally planned.
A drone video of the Dunkettle Interchange project in Cork is on Youtube.
The video compiles footage from the last 6 or so months as it shows the area in various stages of work.
2:27: Supports for the relocated M8. The M8 will be shifted slightly to the east here to allow on and off ramps to be constructed and tied in.
1:10 and 4:46: The offramps from Cork City direction to M8 are shown.
These are completed but not open to traffic - as can be seen at the end of the video, they come to a dead stop for now.
A planning decision is due on the M6 Galway Bypass by the end of April. The Journal have written a longread on the benighted project, explaining the pros and cons and featuring some interviews.
The opening date for new Junction 9A on the M7 at Naas (end March) came and went.
No update is available on this, but surely opening to traffic can only be days to weeks away.
The way has been cleared for construction of the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway to proceed, according to the Examiner.
The final cases have come to an end and leave to appeal further has been denied. The project is due to get underway in 2024:
"Supporters of the motorway say the project will ignite new economic and industrial life in the region by unlocking a major IDA landbank in the area and supporting the Port of Cork's move downriver to Ringaskiddy.
Land acquisitions and preparatory works are expected to take three years before the bigger project of the motorway itself begins in 2024.
If the planned timeline for construction is then adhered to, the M28 would open in 2027.
The M28 Steering Group, which claims to represent over 10,000 residents in the Maryborough Hill, Rochestown, Carrs Hill, Bloomfield, Mount Oval, Clarke's Hill, and general Douglas area, wanted alternative plans drawn up that would cause less disruption to their daily lives."
Commentary by others has mostly been favourable, such as the Mayor of the County of Cork:
"County Mayor Mary Linehan Foley said the decision made by the Supreme Court this week to reject further grounds to appeal clears the way for "the long overdue upgrade of the road to Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy".
Mayor Linehan Foley said that the motorway is the "last piece of the jigsaw" in connecting Ireland's main ports by a high-quality road network.
"This 12.5km, €220m scheme, from Cork to Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy, is the last piece of the jigsaw that will see the ports of Belfast, Dublin and Cork connected by a high-quality road network," she said."
There is another round of public consultation underway on the N2 Ashbourne-Kilmoon Cross scheme. An emerging preferred route has been picked. Planners went with E-2: this route runs immediately to the west of the N2 until the R155, then swings further west before coming back to hit Kilmoon Cross.
The Round 3 Consultation is available on the official scheme site. The emerging route can be found in it. The interfaces at either end haven't been nailed down yet and are still shown as large hatched areas.
For reference, here is the map showing all options from last summer.
Since this road will be built as a Type 1 Dual Carriageway, and extends an existing motorway, it seems very likely that this extension will also be a motorway.
However, due to shifting public policy that disfavours roads that will primarily serve as car commuter routes, it is also likely this project will attract significant controversy.
The preferred routes for the two new N2 schemes have been published.
The one for the N2 - Clontibret-NI Border scheme is here and Ardee to Castleblayney is over here.
The northern scheme "cuts the corner" as it passes Monaghan and will shorten the distance a good bit (about 1.5 km) as well as allowing it to be taken at higher speed.
The southern scheme, on the other hand, follows the existing road very closely and will probably be built alongside it in the manner of the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin scheme which is currently under construction.
Here is a photo of Dunkettle interchange underway.
Piling on the centre right can be seen for the relocated section of M8.
The road is being shifted slightly to the east, towards the camera, in order to facilitate new slip roads.
A train is passing under the M8, and above that new slip roads can be seen, though they are not in use yet.
A large number of new slip lanes will be constructed in the bottom left quadrant of the image.
The long-suffering new M7 junction 9A is to open at the end of March.
This piece of infrastructure has been repeatedly delayed and it's fair to say at this stage that we will believe it when we see it.
Recently some work had to be redone to address deficiencies.
Note that the Sallins bypass will not open at that time; for now the junction will only facilitate access to north Naas.
Sligo County Council have put up a video of the nearly-complete N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin scheme.
This new road is expected to open this coming August and constitutes a huge improvement over the existing single carriageway.
The woebegone Sallins bypass and new junction 9A on the M7 at Naas is delayed again and now not expected to open until summer. KildareNow has more details.
Numerous schemes have their route options out to consultation now. First up are two schemes on the N21 Limerick-Tralee road. There are separate websites for the Newcastlewest and Abbeyfeale bypasses.
Newcastlewest has 2 options to the south of the town that intersect the existing road at 90-degree angles and 2 to the north that flow more naturally into and out of the existing route.
Abbeyfeale has 1 option to the north of the town which seems long-winded and 3 to the south. A blue route passes very close to the town centre so is the shortest.
No timeline has been published for these and the standard to which they will be built has not been stated.
Note that it was previously planned to improve the entire route to dual carriageway standard; it's no longer clear if this is still the case.
Route options have also been published for the N4 Mullingar to Rooskey upgrade. There is a virtual consultation website here and a brochure here.
At Mullingar, all routes follow the existing road until west of Ballinalack where 2 pass north of Edgeworthstown and 3 south. All routes then pass north of Longford including two which are a long distance from the town before they all converge west of Newtownforbes. They all follow the existing route the rest of the way to the start of the Rooskey dual carriageway bypass.
There is no indication yet of what standard this will be built to.
Construction of the N5 Ballaghaderreen-Longford scheme is now due to begin in Q2 2021, according to the Connaught Telegraph.
A decision on planning permission for the M6 Galway Bypass is due in late April. This beleaguered project has been in planning and design hell for two decades, so we will see if any real progress is made on this occasion. Expect plenty of litigation even if there is a positive result.
Finally, the oral hearing into a planning permission for the M21 Adare-Rathkeale scheme will run from 8th-18th February. This will deal with the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) and objections and is a step towards the final decision. No date for the latter has been confirmed, however.
The various potential routes the M20 might take are generating some controversy.
A preferred route is due to be announced this summer.
There was never a proper announcement, but since December 2020 work has quietly been ramping up on the Dunkettle Interchange, as these stills posted on Boards.ie show.
The shots were taken from the Dunkettle Traffic website.
The scheme is now marked on this site as fully underway.
The ever-beleaguered M7 Naas project will now not open till May.
Works were substantially completed in Nov 2020 after over a year's delay.
The N61 is only a national secondary trunk road, but a substantial section of new single carriageway is planned between Athlone and Roscommon town.
Here is the brochure.
There is another installment of exciting drone footage of the N22 scheme in Cork.
Especially impressive flying skills at 1:35.
I had a video consultation on the M20 scheme with a member of the project team.
He was very knowledgeable and we discussed a variety of topics regarding the scheme - the rail and the road aspects.
The preferred option is planned to be announced by summer 2021, and the scheme is planned to be submitted for planning permission by 2023.
Here are the major take-homes from the meeting.
There is not so much opposition to the project in his experience - he wasn't involved in the M18
Routing straight into Limerick M7 bypass was not considered as it was desired that Cork-Foynes and Cork-Adare journeys would be facilitated
He says the Cork Northern Ring and/or north distributor road are still active and they are in consultation with Cork County Council about this - though not part of this project
He acknowledges that it wouldn't be appropriate for the M20 at Cork to end at traffic lights east of Blarney
No decision on phasing - this will come during procurement - though he left the door open on a phased approach due to scheme size.
Regarding the rail option that follows the old closed line via Croom, this could be combined (though not in scope here) with opening of the Foynes line to passenger and freight
This approach would involve a new terminus near Colbert station where the old Guinness terminal was - Colbert wouldn't handle the trains itself presumably due to the angle of approach
Irish rail are completely separate from the project - but they are privy to the discussions
No info on how Irish Rail would be funded for any part they might have to build - would have to be separate arrangement
He totally agreed that cost shouldn't the primary consideration; quality of delivered product is.