NEWSUpdate 06/12/2019: Unfortunately there have been delays with the New Ross bypass and it is now expected to open in January 2020, not 20th Dec as previously indicated. Aswell, the opening of the new Junction 9A on the M7 Naas Bypass has been put off, and is now expected to push into January too.
Update 02/12/2019: Contracts were signed on 29th Nov for the new N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney road. The dual carriageway will be 22 km long and construction is due to start in Q1 2020.
The New Ross bypass is wrapping up and is scheduled for a 20th December opening.
Update 23/11/2019: At last we have opening dates for the Junction 9A and Sallins Bypass elements of the M7 widening project, courtesy of Bill Clear, councillor of Kildare County Council. The junction will open in early December and the Sallins Bypass in April 2020.
The emerging preferred route for N2 Slane Bypass has been published. A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of 2020. This town has been trying to have a bypass built for decades. It has an unusual layout with a steep downhill ending in a sharp bend, a narrow bridge, then another sharp bend, then a steep ascent. Let's hope something is finally built.
Building Giants is an American TV show documenting large construction projects all around the world, and is famous for its hyperbole. A recent episode covers the building of the New Ross bridge (referred to as the "Monster Bridge") over the River Barrow. The American production team chronicle the construction crew's attempts to extend the bridge segments out from its piers and make sure the parts line up. It's often hilarious stuff - the Scottish employee requires subtitles, apparently, and even the most minor of construction snags is elevated to high drama.
Update 13/11/2019: Yesterday the route corridor options for the N11/M11 upgrade from J4-14 were published. There are a number of maps on the official scheme page, but the most interesting one is the corridor options map.
The options are quite ambitious. There are far more offline variants than could have been predicted, including a blue/cyan route that replaces the Glen of the Downs pass to the west, and a yellow/pink one that goes to the east. The blue route also replaces the whole Kilmacanoge section, which is full of side accesses to properties.
It remains to be seen whether these offline routes would fly with locals and from an environmental perspective. In particular, the yellow/pink route cuts right through Delgany golf course. The club owners are unlikely to be too happy!
Finally a quick update to post some links to wondrous pictures of the nearly-complete N25 New Ross Bypass bridge, and a video of a temporary bridge pier used during construction being demolished. The photos are from the scheme's Facebook page, the video was made by a drone. The project is due to open on the 20th December of this year.
Update 24/10/2019: Yesterday the final Motorway Services Area in the current tranche, at Kilcullen, was opened for business. This means the M9 motorway now has online motorway services too, along with the M1, M4, M6, and M11. There is as yet no news on the next tranche.
Things are moving fast for the M21 Adare bypass, which is due to have its planning permission deposited with the planning board by the end of this month, according to recent coverage. It is due to open by 2024, so will need to begin construction in the next 18-24 months at the outside.
There is an exact opening date for the N25 New Ross bypass now - it is due to open on the 20th December of this year. It is looking rather wonderful in this image from Boards poster M17.
Update 14/10/2019: Last Monday the 7th Oct, the 3.1 km N56 Coolboy-Kilmacrennan scheme opened. This is one of a number of improvements being made to the isolated county's road infrastructure. Even counting only the N56, there are 3 more schemes underway or to be started soon:
- Letterkenny Relief Road
Update 07/10/2019: Another Motorway Service area, on the M9 at Kilcullen, will open shortly on the 24th October. This will be the third MSA to open this year and like the other two was delayed for many years.
"The Circle K M9 Kilcullen (between Junctions 2 and 3) will open to customers on Thursday, 24th October, it has been confirmed.
Update 03/10/2019: A statement has been made by the TII on the delays to the N52 Ardee Bypass. Due to the revisions needed to alleviate local access concerns, the scheme had to be redesigned but this means it cannot go to tender yet. The new plan is to tender in late 2020 or early 2021 - so the new start year is 2021 and it should be done by 2023.
"Accordingly, during recent months, meetings were held and detailed submissions from residents were received by Louth County Council and TII.There is also an update on the N2 Slane bypass. The important N51 route also runs through this town, connecting Drogheda with Navan and points southwest. Due to the desire to allow for a connection between an N51 bypass and the N2 bypass, Meath County Council are examining east-west options. Once a preferred route has been announced this can enable the N2 to be forward-designed for a potential connection to it. Then the N2 scheme can be submitted for planning permission in 2021.
Update 12/09/2019: After lying dormant along with some other facilities for several years, the East Athlone Motorway Services Area has finally opened today. This article has a decent aerial shot of it. There is one more services area to open by the end of the year, at Kilcullen on the M9. Previously Gorey Services on the M11 opened back in March. All 3 service areas had the access roads and overbridges built around 5 or 6 years ago but due to a legal challenge over the way the contract to operate them was awarded, they were stuck in legal limbo for years.
The N52 Ardee bypass has run into problems, and is now deferred to 2020. This is to allow an issue with a cul de sac along the route to be redesigned.
Update 18/08/2019: Following rumours which have circulated for the last few weeks, it is now confirmed that the Dunkettle Interchange project will be retendered. This is because the construction company to whom the tender was awarded has informed the Government that the cost of construction will be significantly higher than expected due to poor ground conditions. Indeed the conditions at that location are bad, since much of the interchange will need to be constructed on swampy ground. However, this was well known and due to recent cost overruns on other government projects the government is intolerant of letting any further spending get out of control.
An updated timeline from Cork County Council is mentioned in a Boards post by contributor Marno21. The new plan is to construct one of the large new slips immediately (probably since it doesn't cross the swamp) and the rest of the interchange thereafter. The slip is the one at the northwest quadrant and allows movement from Cork City Centre to the M8 northbound. It also includes a physically-separated pedestrian and cycling facility.
The timeline is as follows:
- The slip and walking/cycling facility is to start now and be completed in 2020.
- In 2020, the rest of the project will be tendered.
- In 2022, the interchange will be partially opened.
- By 2023, there will be a full opening.
Update 14/08/2019: The new single carriageway section of the N30 at Enniscorthy is now open. This joins the new dual carriageway section of N30 at Scarawalsh to a point west of Enniscorthy. This completes the M11 Enniscorthy bypass scheme.
A preliminary tender has been issued for the M4 widening scheme. The plan is to widen from J5 Leixlip to J7 Maynooth. Beyond that, towns are very small, and traffic tails off significantly.
From the Leinster Leader:
"Tenders have been invited from consultants to work on technical and advisory services to plan the upgrade of the M4 between Maynooth and Leixlip. The work involves the widening of the M4 from two lanes to three, in each direction. The project is listed as a priority in the National Development Plan 2018-2027. It involves around 10 kilometers in length."To round things off, here is a collection of wondrous pictures of the N25 New Ross bridge: , , .
Update 02/08/2019: All 6 lanes on the M7 Naas-Newbridge widening project are now open to traffic. Verge works continue, and work is ongoing on the new J9A and reconstructed J10 interchanges.
Update 29/07/2019: A big site update is complete! You can now comment on any motorway profile page such as the M1, and in the case of the Future proposals, you're encouraged to rate the schemes.
On the latter pages, commentary that had been made by people who filled out surveys has been re-added as new comments.
Update 27/07/2019: The final section of the N25 New Ross bridge over the River Barrow was completed around the 20th July.
Some photos of the final pour are on Boards. It only remains now to surface the bridge and tidy up the rest of the approach roads. However there is still no official opening date.
The Ryder Cup is coming to Adare in Co. Limerick in 2026, and the Irish Examiner reports that the M21 Adare Bypass will now be fast-tracked, with its completion date moved up to 2024:
"The Ryder Cup makes the project a redline priority, which will now have to be completed by 2024."This isn't exactly fast, since 2024 was around the expected completion year anyway.
Update 19/07/2019: Yesterday a long new section of motorway, the M11 Enniscorthy Bypass, opened in County Wexford. This is the longest new section to open since 2010, and may be the last for a long time. The M11 is now 82 km of motorway from Coyne's Cross north of Ashford, Wicklow to Oilgate, south of Enniscorthy. Coyne's Cross to Dublin is mostly dual carriageway. The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, attended the official opening, as reported in the media: , , . Note that the first 2 articles incorrectly describe the motorway segment as 39 km long; in fact the motorway is 27 km and there is a 12 km link road to the N30 west of the town. The third contains a video. Boards.ie also includes some photos of the road. Finally, the M11 page on this site has been updated.
The Wexford Today article is particularly exuberant:
"Cllr Michael Sheehan, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, felt a great sense of pride as he welcomed the opening of the long anticipated M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Motorway and associated roads and joined An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. in the official ceremony today."The new dual carriageway part of the N30 from the new motorway to the beginning of the N80 is also open. However, the N30 section from West Enniscorthy to Scarawalsh is still not open and will be made available "in the coming weeks".
Update 12/07/2019: This site has been substantially redesigned. The changes are as follows:
- The project lists are now embedded spreadsheets, and can be seen on the Current and Full List pages. All of the items on the Miscellaneous page are embedded too. This will ensure that information such as the Motorway Completed By Year and Road Fatalities are kept up to date. Incidentally, in the latter case, 2018 saw an all-time low for traffic fatalities in Ireland.
- The maps have all been moved to a new Maps page. It's now easier to find lesser-known maps such as National Secondaries.
- The individual motorway pages have updates appended where applicable.
I'll leave you with this wondrous aerial shot of the entire M11 Enniscorthy Bypass scheme, which will open on 18th July.
Update 27/06/2019: It has been confirmed that the M11 Enniscorthy bypass will open slightly earlier than anticipated. The road will open on July 9th, not July 31st as previously stated. The work is all but complete with only signing and lining left, according to recent photos. This will extend the M11 a further 27 kilometres south, terminating between Enniscorthy and Wexford.
Interestingly, it now seems the link roads will not be N30 and N80, they will be all N30. The existing N80 will split off the new road at the current N11 and the new N30 segments.
On the M7, work is progressing, but a little slowly. Six lanes have been opened from junction 9 (East Naas) to junction 10 (West Naas). The remaining section to be widened should be done in a few months.
Update 21/05/2019: The Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy has finally been released, and sets out the road and public transport development plan for Ireland's second city up to 2040. The full document is available to download here.
Aswell as a tram line and the electrification and improvement of the suburban rail network, many new roads are planned. Taken from page 25 of the document, here is the relevant map of roads in the Cork area in 2040. The following new roads can be seen:
- Cork North and West Ring Road (these and M20 erroneously coloured green instead of blue)
- Northern and Southern Distributor Roads (in orange - these will be 2-lane urban or suburban roads)
- Reclassification of the N40 Southern Ring Road to motorway
- N27 to Cork - bus lanes to be added
Here is more detailed discussion of some of the routes.
Kerry County Council is trying to have some regional roads in Kerry reclassified to national secondary status. They cover the route from Listowel to Ballybunion to Tralee. Here is a map of the routes.
Update 16/05/2019: The Traffic Counts have been updated for 2017 and 2018. Particularly around Dublin, traffic levels continue to increase, with very unsustainable levels on the M50. Some sections are pushing 150,000 vehicles a day.
Update 11/05/2019: The DPER (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform) have released timelines for major road projects in the coming years. The detail is here but a nice summary is on Boards here. Many of the timelines seem optimistic, e.g. M20 is listed as starting in 2023 and M6 Galway in 2021 which seem a bit tight considering they're both quite a way from being submitted for planning approval.
The dates may also not take into account possible deferments due to the overspend on the National Broadband Plan which will cost €3 billion, about 4 times its planned cost.
Update 30/04/2019: Here is a wondrous drone video of the N25 New Ross project. The road will open by the end of 2019 after all. Previously it was speculated that it might be 2020 before it saw traffic.
The M7 widening project has been delayed. The Naas bypass element will open by May but the remainder down the M7/M9 split will run into the summer, the Irish Independent reports.
The N13/N56 project in Letterkenny, which would complete a bypass of the town and improve the existing dual carriageway heading east from the town centre, is coming under pressure from a local councillor, who thinks it should be delivered more quickly. A render has been released showing the bridge across the River Swilly which is the key part of the project. The town currently suffers from severe traffic congestion.
Update 14/04/2019: This escaped my notice back at the end of February, but the emerging preferred route for the N56/N13 scheme in Letterkenny was revealed. It's a more ambitious project than envisaged, which will also replace a part of the N13 heading south from the town, aswell as making improvements to the N13 to the east, and completing the N56 by bridging the River Swilly. It will also turn many minor and local roads into overbridges so that they will avoid entering and exiting the new roads, leaving them dedicated to passing and long distance traffic. The map on this site has been updated - zoom in to Letterkenny to see the layout.
On Twitter, Sligo County Council have put up some preliminary photos of the work that has been carried out so far on the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin dual carriageway, a 14 km scheme. Topsoil strip can be seen, with soil testing trenches. In the 4th photo the soil has been removed revealing the peat underneath.
Update 28/03/2019: Finally! The much-beleaguered Gorey Motorway Services Area has opened yesterday, the 28th of March. Construction on this began in 2013 and was completed in 2014 whereupon it sat idle for years as legal battles played out.
The nearby M11 Enniscorthy Bypass will open this summer and will provide some traffic for the MSA.
Here's a dramatic shot of the N25 New Ross bridge.
Update 02/03/2019: The route of the N14 Letterkenny-Lifford dual carriageway has been unveiled. The scheme alignment on this site has been updated.
We can expect a route to be announced for the N2 Slane Bypass in March. Previously a plan for a bypass of this town was refused permission, so the planners will be more cautious this time around.
Bad news for the N25 New Ross bypass. Its opening was supposed to be in only a few months, but judging by photos on the scheme website, there is still considerable progress to be made. Sure enough, a Munster Express article confirms that the project will not open until 2020:
"The eagerly anticipated New Ross Bridge and N25 Bypass will open at a yet to be determined date in 2020, rather than this summer, as had been previously anticipated. The news, disclosed to South Kilkenny Councillors at the February meeting of the Piltown Municipal District, was not greeted with any palpable sense of disappointment on members' behalves. As late as last September, Councillors had been told that the project was due to open by June of this year."As a consolation, here is a picture of the bridge towers rising out of the mist.
Update 23/02/2019: An announcement has been made that work has kicked off on the much-needed N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin. This replaces the worst remaining section of N4 and a road with one of the highest accident rates in the country.
"The sod has officially been turned on the new stretch of road on the N4 by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Around 120million euro is to be spent on the stretch between Collooney and Castlebaldwin is expected to completed in the next 2 and half years. It's a bitter sweet day though however 30 families or more who lost their loved one on this stretch of road. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Transport Shane Ross say that opening up Sligo and the area is a key feature of the governments 2040 Plan."There has been an update on the National Children's Hospital budget overrun debacle. Thankfully, all the money to be taken from the transport budget will be cut from the A5 Dublin to Derry road, which presumably includes planned schemes on the N2. This isn't a big deal as Brexit may restrict Republic of Ireland's access to Northern Ireland anyway, making an upgraded N2/A5 moot.
In the Dail today, Minister Shane Ross confirmed that the timeline for the N2 Slane Bypass is 2021 for start of construction and 2024 to open. This bypass has been needed for decades due to the unusual layout of the town and its river bridge.
Some wondrous pics ,  of the M11 Enniscorthy bypass's progress have been reposted on Boards from the scheme website. Also a few nice shots of the N25, including a night shot.
The preferred route for the N15 Ballybofey/Stranorlar bypass has been revealed. This road is part of a set of schemes for Donegal. The others are N56 Letterkenny ring road and N14 Letterkenny-Lifford. The alignment for the scheme has been updated on the map on this site.
Update 08/02/2019: This escaped my attention as no official announcement was made, but the N5 Ballaghderreen-Scramogue project was approved by An Bord Pleanala back in January.
This long, 35 km single carriageway road will open up access to Mayo and was desribed in detail in the update on this site from the 16/12/2017. There has been some press coverage.
Update 02/02/2019: Things have been quiet for a few months, as we settle into 2019. A sluggish Minister for Transport is not helping to get projects off the ground. We're expecting the Gorey Motorway Services Area to open shortly, but no date is available any more.
This will be a big year for major starts. There are 4 big schemes to begin construction in 2019. Here they are with estimated start dates:
N8/N25/N40 Dunkettle Interchange : Imminent
N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin : Q1 2019
N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom : Summer 2019
N5 Westport to Turlough : September 2019
Dunkettle is fully signed off and is in pre-construction. The N4 scheme looks ready to begin. The rest require some form of Cabinet approval first.
In addition, the N52 Ardee Bypass and some schemes on the N56 in Donegal will kick off this year.
This is all assuming the Transport budget is not reduced as a result of the huge cost overrun in the new National Children's Hospital. This project is now running over a billion euro overbudget and it has been indicated that money will have to be saved elsewhere.
The M21/N69 scheme at Adare and Foynes will be submitted for planning approval by Q2 of this year. A design change has been made: the new N69 to Foynes will now be a dual carriageway, not single, according to this article:
"This new stretch of motorway will bypass Adare as far as the new access road to Rathkeale and then continue as a dual carriageway to Foynes."