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 page. The full list of all projects, past, present and future, are on the Full Project List page.
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.

Current Road Programme

 
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Current road building programme (since end 2015) with more information in list format. Schemes under construction are marked with a red star. Use the link under the map to open in a full screen.
 
   

Road Programme (2005 to 2015)

 
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Schemes completed mostly between 2005 and 2015 with more information in list format. Use the link under the map to open in a full screen.


 

  

NEWS

Update 09/06/2021: 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.

Update 27/05/2021: 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.

Update 29/04/2021: 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 dual 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.

Update 21/04/2021: 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.

Update 10/04/2021: 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.

Update 09/04/2021: 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.

Update 07/04/2021: 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.

Despite Covid-19, the construction of the N22 bypass is pushing ahead with a completion date of winter 2023 in sight."
There is also a drone video if you like that sort of thing. The bridge is featured at 0:38.

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.

Update 07/03/2021: 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.

Update 25/02/2021: 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.

Update 07/02/2021: 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.

Update 20/01/2021: 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.

Update 10/01/2021: 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.

Road
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.

Rail
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.

Update 12/12/2020: There is a public consultation on the M20 initial route options happening until Jan 15th 2021 on www.corklimerick.ie, the M20 scheme website. On the homepage, click "Public Consultation". After you have entered the room, high-detail maps of the road and rail options can be found by clicking the large map icon in the centre. When the map opens, you can use the layer icon on the top left to switch on and off the rail and road options. Queries can be emailed to info@corklimerick.ie but you can also book a video session with them.

Recently I attended a zoom meeting on the M20 project hosted by Limerick TD Kieran O'Donnell, featuring spokespeople from the project team, Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and others. At the meeting it was confirmed that an option that connected the M20 directly to the Limerick ring road was ruled out at an early stage as it would have routed the road too far from Croom and Adare. Additionally the chambers of commerce of N20 towns like Charleville were anxious to have the new road pass as close as possible to their settlements so that they can maximise their access and connectivity.

Regarding the rail improvements, according to Irish Rail, choosing rail option RS1 (Improve existing rail line) would be by far the easiest and cheapest option. A land reservation to double Limerick-Limerick Junction already exists as the route used to be double track and a program to close level crossings along Limerick Junction to Cork is already underway. Currently the rail journey time ranges from 1h30 - 1h40. Such an intervention would reduce this to 1h15 - 1h20. Options where a new piece of rail line is built would take a lot longer to build and greatly increase cost, though they would reduce the journey time even further. The takeaway from the meeting was that rail options that involve building a new alignment are effectively already ruled out and the consultation may just be a box-ticking exercise.

There will be a further public consultation in summer 2021 which will unveil the preferred route.

Update 04/12/2020: A scheme website has been set up for the N4 Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod dualling scheme. The study area is visible on the Interactive map (don't bother with the huge PDFs). The new route could go either north or south of Carrick.

This amazing drone video of the Macroom Bypass section of the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom project has been created by speeding up footage taken by flying over the site. It can be seen that significant progress on earthworks and more modest progress on the bridge structures has been made. The project's challenging terrain is very visible. At the end of the video, at the west end of Macroom, no progress at all has been made - the fenced but untouched site can be seen. Progress has been made at the far west end of the scheme, but that isn't shown in the video.

The Connaught Telegraph has reported that the N5 Ballaghaderreen-Scramogue scheme has slipped and will not start until Q2 of next year. Previously it was Q1. A Mayo Deputy comments on the project as follows:
"TII have confirmed to me that tenders for the main construction contract of the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue Scheme are expected to be received in Roscommon County Council by the end of this year with the review of the tender documents taking place during Q1, 2021.

"In parallel, a detailed business case, as required by the public spending code, will be prepared for submission to government by way of the Department of Transport.

"Pending the government grants approval and the associated funding is made available to proceed with the scheme, it would be anticipated that construction would begin in quarter two of 2021.

"The construction period has a timeframe of 36 months - it is a huge scheme with huge benefits for County Mayo.

This is not a trunk route, but it's a major and very expensive scheme - the new Killaloe bridge in County Clare.
Clare County Council is making significant progress delivering the Shannon River Crossing project, which will be one of the biggest infrastructural project in South-East Clare.

The estimated cost of the project totals €69 million, which includes construction, land acquisition, design, supervision, risk, contingency and archaeology.

It is expected the new Shannon River Crossing, Killaloe By-Pass and upgrade of the Ballina to Birdhill R494 regional road will take up to three years to construct and could start next summer if everything goes to plan.
Here is a map of the route of the scheme.

Update 22/11/2020: The planned M28 motorway between Cork and Ringaskiddy has had repeated legal actions taken against by a local residents' group, the M28 Steering Group. Previously, in December 2019, they challenged the planning permission it had been given by An Bord Pleanala in June 2018.
Now, they have been refused permission to bring the High Courts decision to the Court of Appeal. They have stated their intention to petition the Supreme Court to hear their case, but the legal bar for such a hearing is very high. Observers are guessing the project is probably clear to proceed now.

Route options for the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway have been published. These are mostly east of the existing N20. Options for the potential rail improvements are on page 8 and include an upgrade of the existing rail lines, and the building of short segments of new line to make a shorter route.

Planning has begun for the Cork North Ring Road. This will join the N40 at Ballincollig to the N20 and future M20 at Blarney, and finally to the M8 north of Glanmire. It is possible the road may be tolled. Note that a route number has not yet been assigned to this road.

It has been confirmed that work on the N5 Ballaghdereen-Scramogue single carriageway road will start early next year. The project was tendered in July of this year and preparation is continuing apace, according to the Roscommon Herald:
...The stretch of N5 linking the Ballaghdereen bypass to Scramogue was proceeding, with works ongoing, including works on fencing and archaeological testing. He said construction tender documents had been issued on July 22, with the process ongoing.
...
The schedule for the appointment of a contractor by the end of the year was still on course.

Update 12/11/2020: The contract for the 35 km N5 Strokestown-Frenchpark scheme will be awarded soon, according to Shannonside. This scheme has moved surprisingly fast through the planning system.

The TEN-T projects in Donegal are making progress and are due to move to CPO (Compulsory purchase) in March/April 2021. The name refers to the N56, N13, and N14 projects in the county:

  • - N56 Letterkenny Bypass/N13 L'kenny-Manorcunningham
  • - N13 Manorcunningham-Lifford
  • - N15/N13 Ballybofey-Stranorlar Bypass

  • N52 Tullamore-Kilbeggan route options have been published and can be found on the official scheme site under the section "Second Public Consultation - Route Corridor Options". It can be seen that all options are east of the existing road and tie into the N52 roundabout north of Tullamore.

    The last of the concrete beams for the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin schemes have been put in place, as this image from Boards poster M17 shows.

    The route options for N3 Virginia bypass have now been reduced to 5. Only 1 passes south and west of the town with the rest on the other side. There is a virtual meeting room displaying the options. This includes an introductory video.

    Finally, here some videos of the works taking place on the N4 and the N22.

    Update 01/11/2020: On Twitter, some photos [1], [2] of the Macroom bypass have been posted. The western part of the scheme (N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney) will take a few years to do, but the parts near Macroom can be seen to be making good progress.

    The website for the N24 Cahir-Limerick Junction scheme is live. Right now it doesn't have much content, just a map with an indication of the scheme location which is along the existing N24. It states that route options will be available by Q2 next year.

    A photographer has put up some photos of the alignment of the future N52 Ardee Bypass. With luck this new single carriageway scheme should start construction by the end of 2021.

    The newsletter for the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin is out. It shows that practically all earthworks are done with significant progress on structures, many of which are over 90% complete. The scheme is still on track to be completed by August 2021.

    Route options are out for the N25 Carrigtwohill to Midleton scheme. The scheme only covers the part between the two towns and does not improve the roundabout on the N25 south of Midleton, for example. One of the four options comprises improvements to the existing road and the other three are new routes, with the existing route returned to local access only. When the road was dualled in the 1980s it was just a doubling of the existing carriageway with no attempt made to improve junctions and side roads.

    Update 16/10/2020: The Dunkettle Interchange upgrade project, following its retendering, has been awarded to Sisk. The cost is €215 million, but it has been stated that €40M has been saved as a result of stopping work and retendering due to the huge cost escalations the project was seeing.
    The completion date of Q1 2024 indicates it will start construction early next year at the latest, assuming a 3-year construct time.
    That said, advance works have been underway all year so really we could see a full scale-up of activity much sooner.

    The TII have put out a major project tracker, the first they've done in years. Not a lot of surprises in it but a few things of note :

  • N3 M50 to Clonee is still not confirmed to involve widening to 3 lanes but it will involve junction changes and addition of bus lanes.
  • M4 Maynooth to Leixlip will involve widening to 3 lanes each way and the addition of bus lanes.
  • N21 Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale bypasses will be dual carriageways. *
  • N22 Farranfore-Killarney will be a dual carriageway.
  • N24 Cahir-Limerick Junction will be a motorway (35 km).
  • N25 Carrigtwohill-Midleton upgrade will be a motorway (5 km).
  • N52 Kilbeggan-Tullamore will be a dual carriageway.

  • * When all N21 schemes are completed, there would only be an 11 km gap in the dual carriageway between Limerick and Abbeyfeale. The road beyond there to Tralee was upgraded in 2006 and does not require improvement.

    The new starts we should see in the next 12 months, apart from Dunkettle, are all single-carriageway roads.
    In the first half of 2021, the following schemes should begin work:

  • N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue (a major scheme of 35 km)
  • N69 Listowel Bypass
  • N59 Moycullen Bypass

  • In the second half of the year there should be:

  • N52 Ardee Bypass
  • N78 Athy Southern Relief Road

  • Update 06/10/2020: The huge N17 Knock-Collooney scheme now has an official website. The Mapping page shows the route options. The new dual carriageway may be as much as 55 kilometres long so this will be transformative for the region. Some of the routes go west of Knock airport and west of Tobercurry, some east. At Collooney some options start north and some south of the town.

    Update 29/09/2020: We may be mere days away from receiving cabinet approval for the start of full works on the Dunkettle Interchange. The Irish Examiner has a good write-up on the situation:
    The Cabinet is expected to approve within days the awarding of a contract for the multi-million overhaul of the Dunkettle interchange in Cork.

    It follows a more than year-long delay on the awarding of the main building contract after contractors Sisk and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) failed to agree a price on the key works element of a road scheme which has been estimated by some to cost anything from €115m and €170m.
    Meanwhile the long-delayed M7 Osberstown interchange and Sallins bypass will open by the end of the year, as reported by RTE.
    The interchange will provide an M7 motorway link to Millennium Park, a massive business park in Naas.

    The bypass itself will take away many of the 22,000-plus vehicles which pass through Sallins each day.

    These two projects were being worked on in tandem with the three-lane motorway widening project, which has been completed outside Naas and Newbridge.
    Down south in Cork, we will have a better picture of the future route of the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway by Christmas:
    ROUTE options for the M20 Cork to Limerick Motorway are to be narrowed down by Christmas this year, County Hall officials have told elected members.

    Speaking at County Hall, Director of Roads Padraig Barrett said the identified corridor which has been earmarked within the vicinity of the N20, via Charleville and Mallow, is being looked at and he expects that the options will be narrowed down by Christmas this year.

    Mr Barrett said this will give a clearer picture of what the 80km motorway will look like.
    There is the possibility of "rail options" too - though it's not clear if both the road and the rail, or just one, is in mind.

    Update 05/09/2020: The preferred routes for two schemes on the N2 have been announced: Ardee to Castleblayney (map) and Clontibret to NI border (map). The maps are on page 4 in both documents. The large map on this site has been updated.

    The corridor for the first scheme is very narrow. Presumably like the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin scheme the new road will be right beside the old one. For the second, Monaghan town will be bypassed a long distance away in order to cut the corner. Emyvale will be bypassed to the west before the route heads east again before reuniting with the old road at the border. The whole scheme is offline apart from an online widening of the Clontibret bypass.

    The latest update on the Dunkettle Interchange scheme from their site is as follows:
    "Tenders for the main construction works at Dunkettle were received in late June 2020 and these are currently under review. We still anticipate Award of this construction Contract before the end of 2020. We then anticipate that sectional openings of the works will take place from 2022 onwards with a maximum time period of 42 months allowed for construction."
    Update 23/08/2020: The website for the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom scheme has a number of new photos of the construction. These have been reposted to Boards.

    A drone video has been uploaded of the M7 widening and Sallins Bypass showing recent progress. There still is some work left to go on the latter. The official site now has this update:
    Sallins Bypass: Update.
    Following Site reopening after Covid 19 lockdown, works have resumed under strict compliance with Government Protocols. Programmed completion date for Sallins Bypass is now scheduled for end of October 2020.
    Update 28/07/2020: For the N5 Westport to Castlebar scheme, there is now an official site. It's a bit sparse so far with nothing but a few tidbits on the News page. To make up for it, here is a picture taken from a drone of part of the scheme.

    The N25 Waterford to Glenmore scheme also has an official site. It lists scheme options. One follows the existing route, a few skew west of it and a few skew right. There has been no decision on what standard the road will be built to.

    The M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick has been in peril for some time as it seems to be the bete noire of the Green Party and various environmentalists. However the newly formed government has confirmed again that it will indeed be going ahead.
    Newly appointed Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath and Foreign Affairs Minister and former Tánaiste Simon Coveney have told the Irish Examiner the long-awaited road project is "protected" and "will be going ahead", despite Green Party opposition.

    Mr McGrath and Mr Coveney have made clear that while the NDP is to be reviewed and extended from 2027 to 2031, critical projects such as the M20 are not in danger.

    ...

    The estimated total cost of the previously cancelled project could top €1.2bn even though officials earlier this year conceded they had no working estimate for the 80km project.

    The M20 route from Patrickswell in Limerick to Blarney in Cork is one of the biggest new national motorway projects slated to proceed, but Green Party opposition to it remains despite entering government.

    It emerged recently that the Green Party's preferred alternative route for the new Cork to Limerick motorway would result in longer travel times and prevent fewer collisions, according to an expert report.

    Their plan would see the building of a two-lane M24 motorway along the existing N24 route from Limerick city to Cahir in Co Tipperary, which would then join onto the current M8 Dublin to Cork motorway.

    The Green Party estimated that this M24 option would cost "half" of the €1.2bn cost of the M20 route.
    Again, the idea of upgrading the N24 (which needs upgrading anyway) and using that and the M8 as the Limerick-Cork motorway is mentioned. This idea was previously considered and rejected in a report commissioned by the government.

    The number of potential routings for the N2 Rath to Kilmoon Cross scheme has been narrowed. There is now a survey out looking for feedback. Responses should be sent in by 12th Aug. The accompanying document which has a map showing the new lower number of route options can be found by browsing to the publications page and opening the Brochure. It appears the scheme is not intended to have any intermediate junctions, despite the existence of Tayto Park, a large theme park, along the proposed alignment.

    Update 03/07/2020: The newsletter for the N22 Ballyvourney-Macroom scheme is out. Work had stopped of course during the lockdown, but now continues apace. Most of the site has had topsoil stripped and some overbridge structures are underway.

    Planning is underway on the extension of the M11 south to Rosslare according to the press. It is promised that the proposed scheme will be "high quality" but there is no confirmation as to the standard that it will be built to. It is likely to be over 30 km long. The upgrade is related to the expansion of Rosslare port. The article also mentions the official site for the scheme. This was mentioned previously on this site back in January. The scheme website has had a lot more content added now, including an introductory video, maps of the study area and the details of the consultations. The project timeline indicates that a route corridor should be picked by the end of 2020, with the project proceeding through all statutory phases by the end of 2022. If you are impacted by this scheme (or even if not), you are encouraged to fill out the feedback form.

    The map that shows all the route options is hard to see and is broken out into separate maps here which are easier to read. Options B1 and B2 constitute no upgrade and traffic management changes for the existing route, respectively, with no physical changes.
    Options F and G are very far away from the existing road, and therefore of no use to Wexford town.
    Options D and E skirt to the west of the existing route and include a short realignment at Barntown of the N25 heading west to New Ross.
    Option C is the alignment that was proposed some years ago when this scheme was floated previously. It constitutes an upgrade of the existing route with bypasses of Oilgate, Ferrycarrig bridge and Killinick, and the same Barntown realignment. It is completely new build at Tagoat as far as Rosslare. Since much of it would just involve improving the existing route, it's likely to represent the best value for money.
    Option A is the very same as C except the part between Oilgate and Ferrycarrig runs to the east of the existing road.

    Update 25/06/2020: The Dunkettle Interchange is reported to start in September of this year:
    "The delayed multi-million upgrade of the Dunkettle interchange in Cork, one of Ireland's busiest intersections, is on course to start in Autumn.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has confirmed that it expects all tenders for the massive scheme on the eastern outskirts of the city, estimated to cost in the region of €150m, to be submitted by the end of this month, with the contract for main construction awarded in time to allow work to start on site by September or October.
    ...
    It is hoped the upgrade will cater for forecasted traffic growth up to 2050.
    ...
    Sisk continued on advance works including the diversion of gas, electric, telecoms and water infrastructure, the construction of a new link road to connect the N8 with the M8 Cork to Dublin motorway, to include a separated cycleway and pedestrian path.
    ...
    It is expected the scheme will open in stages during 2022, with full completion in 2023 - 12 months behind schedule."

    It has been reported that plans for the N52 Tullamore-Kilbeggan upgrade are moving forward. This 8 km upgrade is mooted to be dual carriageway, though this isn't confirmed just yet:
    "Local authorities want to hear your views on the new N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme.

    Offaly County Council is developing the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link Scheme, in conjunction with Westmeath County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), to upgrade 8 km of this National Secondary Route between the Tullamore Bypass and the M6 at Junction 5 (Kilbeggan).
    ...
    Delivering this project is a priority. The N52 currently operates above capacity, carrying over 14,000 vehicles per day, on a single carriageway with a narrow hard shoulder, as well as having many private access points and public junctions. The overall aim of the proposed new scheme is to improve connectivity within The Midlands and address existing operational and safety issues."
    The project has an official site, which has maps of the study area.

    The marked-off route of the future Ballaghaderreen-Scramogue scheme in Roscommon is clearly visible in aerial photos and this was used to update the route that appears on the map. It is slated to start construction in early 2021.

    Update 05/06/2020: We are getting closer to a preferred route for the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway. According to the press, the southern half of the route has a well-defined boundary but the northern part still could run close to or far from the existing N20.
    Works to narrow down the route options to connect Cork and Limerick are underway as part of Phase 2 of the N/M20 Cork to Limerick scheme.
    During this Phase, the N/M20 project team is developing and appraising road-based and rail-based options for better connectivity between the two cities.
    The aim is to identify a shortlist of route options and following examination, appraisal and consultations, to identify a preferred option.
    Phase 1, which took place in February, identified the N20 corridor between Charleville and Mallow as the preferred area within which Phase 2 will now take place.
    It was chosen as it provides the best journey time saving between the two cities, while it also has the potential to save the greatest number of road-based collisions and accidents.
    The overall area between Charleville and Mallow is similar to that which was previously looked at for the M20 project in 2008, however three additional areas have been added.
    The largest of those is between Charleville and Limerick City, which has been included in order to consider rail-based options and consider connectivity with proposed public transport projects.
    Two smaller areas between Blarney and Cork city, for connection to public transport projects, and an additional area east of Adare to consider connectivity with the proposed Foynes to Limerick Road have also been included.
    Regarding the €22m - N56 Dungloe to Cloghbolie Road Scheme. According to the CIS (Construction Information Services) activity newsletter:
    Main contractors have been appointed for the construction of a €26m, 7.1 km of Standard Single Type 3 Carriageway as part of the N56 Dungloe to Cloghbolie Road Scheme. Works are expected to take in the region of 24 months to complete.
    It has been announced that the Slane Bypass with be built as single carriageway, and not dual as previously indicated. The scheme now moves to design phase. It will cost €38 million and will include traffic management measures within Slane.

    Some high-quality pictures of the in-progress N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin scheme have been put up on Boards. [1], [2] These were taken from the official scheme site.

    Update 10/05/2020: The last few weeks have been deathly quiet, but construction work nationwide is due to recommence on the 18th May as the Covid-related lockdown begins to come to an end. As confirmation, Midwest Radio is reporting that the N5 Westport to Turlough scheme will recommence works then:
    Work is due to resume after the 18th May on the N5 road from Westport to Turlough - the largest Government investment project ever in Co Mayo.
    That's according to Castlebar-based FG Councillor Cyril Burke.
    Councillor Burke says work on the major construction project - like other building projects - had been suspended under the Covid-19 lockdown, but will get underway again shortly.
    He believes it will provide a major economic boost for the Castlebar area during the construction phase.
    The award of the main work contract for the Dunkettle Interchange is now to be awarded by September 2020, it has been reported in the media.
    A CONTRACTOR for the main construction of the Dunkettle Interchange project is set to be appointed by September.
    The development involves the reconfiguration of the existing Dunkettle Interchange to become more free flowing by removing several sets of traffic lights and creating new slip roads.
    Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) confirmed to The Echo that there had been an extension given to the timeframe for the return of tenders from May to June, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Following the receipt of applications "we will drive to have the assessment done and aspire to award the tender by September," a spokesperson for TII told The Echo.
    The article also includes a picture of some preliminary work on the first element of the project, the N8 East to M8 North slip. This work is currently stalled until the 18th May.

    The official site of the N4 Mullingar-Rooskey scheme has launched a public consultation (using leaflets to avoid people having to come to information sessions) on the upgrade of the N4 along that route. The news is repeated in the press:
    A public consultation process on the route of the N4 Mullingar to Longford Roosky upgrade has this morning been announced by Westmeath County Council.
    The project involves the upgrade of a 52 km section of the road - and the public consultation will include the assessment of alternatives routes.
    The stretch of roadway is currently a single carriageway road that passes through or close to several settlements, including Ballinalack, Rathowen, Edgeworthstown, Longford and Newtownforbes.
    ...
    Setting out the reasons why the project is on the table once more, the council has stated that that section of the N4 is operating with traffic levels in excess of those catered for by the current road cross section.
    A major consideration is the extent to which safety is compromised due to the fact that over the 52kms, there are over 500 junctions and private accesses along this section of the N4.
    Update 04/04/2020: It has been confirmed that all work on road construction is to stop for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was revealed on the 28th March by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris. Construction may only go ahead if is essential to fighting the pandemic.
    "Earlier, Mr Harris confirmed that construction workers would not be considered "essential" workers for the duration of the crisis.

    On Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh this morning, he said construction workers would only be permitted to continue at work if they were building something that was essential to the pandemic."
    Update 27/03/2020: As elsewhere, social and industrial restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic will impact all road construction in the State. The schemes under construction at present seem to be continuing for now, but shortages of supplies may kick in in the coming weeks. The government has guaranteed that suppliers should remain open, but the industry may be hit by rules in other jurisdictions.

    Since there is now significant activity taking place on the N5 Castlebar-Westport dual carriageway, this scheme has been marked on this site as under construction, though there has been no official announcement. A good quality map taken from the EIS is here.

    There is now a Virginia Bypass website. The study area is shown there and is very wide, allowing for the possibility of a route either south or north of the existing road. Since south would involve having to pass to the far side of Lough Ramor, it seems more likely that a northerly routing will be chosen so as to keep the distance reasonable. The current end of the improved route at Kells is a dual carriageway, but it hasn't been confirmed whether the Virginia segment will be single or dual.

    A newsletter has been published on the official site for the N22 Ballyvourney scheme. This commenced construction in January. There's been a dearth of decent route maps, so a poster on Boards has put together a better one based on what was in the EIS.

    Route options have been published for the N2 Ashbourne (Rath roundabout)-Kilmoon Cross scheme. They can be found by scrolling to the end of the main page on the official site or directly here. Some involve online widening, some deviations to the east, and some to the west, so there is a lot of choice there. All involve extending from the end of the existing M2 at Ashbourne but most terminate right at Kilmoon Cross while one continues a little further north. It hasn't been confirmed whether this extension will take the form of a motorway or dual carriageway. Certainly the online widening would be difficult to realise as motorway due to the large number of side accesses.

    Update 19/02/2020: Rapid progress is being made on the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin scheme in Sligo, as these pictures show: [1], [2] They are a showcase for the power of drones to provide excellent aerial photography of construction zones.

    Sadly, work on the Sallins Bypass element of the M7 Upgrade at Naas has been delayed until the summer due to slower progress than expected, and will not be ready in April as previously reported. The new Junction 9A on the M7 is still not ready to open, though apparently works are completed.

    It has been announced that the new road between Cork and Limerick will shadow the existing N20 from Blarney to Croom. More detail is here on the offical website. Surprisingly, rail upgrade options are included in the scheme, which would presumably be delivered by a different public body from the road. The two options are improvement of the existing line, and building of a short new section from Charleville to west Limerick in order to straighten out the route.

    Update 04/02/2020: There has not yet been an official announcement, but according to eyewitness accounts, work has commenced on the N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom dual carriageway.
    The TD Michael Creed has also put up a video on his twitter account confirming the works.
    This challenging scheme measuring 22 kilometres will take up to 3½ years to complete due to complex terrain and other constraints. So it will be around summer 2023 before this opens to traffic - though there has been talk of a phased opening.

    Update 30/01/2020: The New Ross Bypass with its truly wondrous centrepiece, a magnificent bridge over the River Barrow, has opened to traffic. The bridge cost €230 million and has been planned for decades.
    The public were allowed to walk across the bridge on the weekend of 25-26th Jan in a ticketed event. Boards.ie has some excellent pictures including a few which were taken by a drone: [1], [2], [3]
    There is also a video up on Facebook.

    The press have covered the opening in some detail. The Examiner's article reads as follows:
    It took more than 70,000 tonnes of concrete and 2.5 million hours of work to complete but the New Ross Bypass will finally open to traffic at noon tomorrow.
    The scheme includes Ireland's longest bridge, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, which sits 36 metres above the River Barrow.
    The bridge is part of the N25 New Ross Bypass, delivered by the BAM/ACS consortium on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), and Wexford and Kilkenny County Councils.
    It aims to cut peak journey times by up to 30 minutes on the N25 between Cork and Rosslare.
    The new road includes Ireland's longest bridge, measuring some 887 metres, crossing the River Barrow between counties Wexford and Kilkenny and it is named in honour of the mother of John F Kennedy, Rose.
    The AA wrote a blog post on the scheme. The Taoiseach attended the unveiling, but the Irish Times article on the bridge was focussed on the upcoming election, with the bridge merely in the background.

    The bypass seems to have worked, as these traffic-free pictures of the town centre of New Ross today show. This video shows the road from ground level.

    This will be the last major road opening nationwide for a while; the next one will the the N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin dual carriageway in Autumn 2021.

    Update 19/01/2020: Preferred routes have been announced for the Donegal road schemes: the N13, N14, N15 and N56. The network map did not require any update as the routes are essentially unchanged from previous route announcements.

    Boards.ie has the 3 maps issued by the NTA:
    N13/N15 - Ballybofey/Stranorlar bypass
    N15/N56 Letterkenny upgrades
    N14 Letterkenny-Lifford

    The latest news with the M6 Galway Bypass is that an oral hearing will take place next month. From Galway Bay FM:
    "The oral hearing for the controversial ring road proposal is expected to take place in mid-February.

    The 600 million euro project would run west from Barna taking a northerly route before joining up with the M6 near Coolagh roundabout.

    In September last year, the plan went out on public consultation again after a further information response from Galway County Council was deemed to contain significant additional data.

    500 landowners would be directly affected, 44 houses would be demolished and 11 businesses would be impacted if the controversial project gets the go ahead."
    Update 12/01/2020: In a major blow to Cork city, it has now been decided that the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway will not include the Cork North Ring Road. The M20 will tie into the existing N20 north of Blackpool, Cork but previously the tie in would also have included a connection to the north ring road. This latter element will not be built until after 2027, undoubtedly causing traffic congestion in Blackpool. The north ring road element would have allowed traffic to access the M20 from east Cork city using motorway standard roads, but now it will have to use the conventional road network.

    The Echo Live article states that the Department for Transport supplied the following update:
    "The National Development Plan sets out the need to upgrade the road linking Limerick to Cork.
    "When the new road reaches Cork it will need a suitable docking point and it is envisaged that in the longer term, that docking point would be where it would meet the Cork North Ring Road.
    "The N20 project will examine how that should be planned for. However, in the shorter term, the new N20/M20 will have to tie into the existing road infrastructure in Cork North City.
    "The Cork North Ring Road will not be delivered as part of the new N20 Limerick to Cork road in the period of the National Development Plan (2018 to 2027).
    "Any delivery of part or all of the Cork North Ring Road would be after 2027."
    The article also quotes Limerick City and County Council:
    "The Cork North Ring Road will be included in a sensitivity test during the appraisal process of the Cork to Limerick road. This appraisal will be undertaken in accordance with TII appraisal procedures as part of the scenarios and sensitivity tests. These actions will inform the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme design."
    It seems hard to understand how the M20 could pass such a sensitivity test considering that omitting the North Ring would leave the M20 isolated from other major roads in the city area.

    In other news it is also planned to improve the remainder of the Dublin-Rosslare road, the part from Oilgate to Rosslare. A website has been launched for the scheme: http://oilgate2rosslareharbour.ie

    The site is light on detail for now. There is an indicative route on the Publications page that dates from the previous attempt to build this improvement in 2011, but it is subject to change. From the end of the Enniscorthy bypass to south of Wexford it mostly follows the existing road except at Oilgate village and the Ferrycarrig estuary crossing. The run from south of Wexford to Rosslare village and harbour is a new route that deviates from the existing road.

    Update 07/01/2020: It has been confirmed that the New Ross bypass will open the 3rd week of this month. The Taoiseach will attend to cut the ribbon.


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