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Ireland has seen over the last decade or two a huge trunk road and motorway building program. The centrepiece of this investment was a network of radial motorways linking Dublin with other cities. Built under the Transport21 program, the bulk of the motorways had a closeout date of 2010, and were completed on time. For decades possessing 19th century road infrastructure, many of the Republic's trunk routes were catapulted into the 21st century in one go.

After 2008, however, Ireland's financial crisis greatly slowed the pace of this infrastructural boom and the remaining schemes in the plan no longer have completion dates. There is no longer an official road development plan and it has been clear for some time now that new road schemes around the country are being built in a fairly random manner, moving to construction as they get through planning, with no attempt being made to create end-to-end improvements of entire routes. This is in contrast to the building of the radial motorways, which were all end-to-end.

Below information can be found on existing and planned roads, including a list of all national roads currently under construction or about to start.



MOTORWAY MATRIX

Bolded roads exist or will soon; unbolded may potentially be created in the future. Further discussion on this.

 0123456789
0 M1M2M3M4 M6M7M8M9
1M10M11     M17M18 
2M20M21M22 M24M25  M28 NEW! 
3          
4M40    M45    
5M50         

Additionally, no sections of the N25 are motorway but the Waterford Bypass narrowly missed getting the designation in 2009 and it is likely that some may be created in future. Therefore it has its own page.
Similarly the Cork Southern Ring Road was renumbered N40 in February 2012. It was formerly a part of the N25. Although it is not a motorway, it is (or will be very soon) motorway standard and may be changed in future. It was therefore also given its own page.
It is planned to build an N21 Adare Bypass which will start at the M20, but in 2016 it was confirmed that this won't be motorway.
By 2021, a new motorway, the M28, will be created.


SCHEMES RECENTLY COMPLETED
 
SchemeStandardkmWork StartedOpening Date
M1 Jct 3-4 Drinan-Lissenhall 4 to 6 lanes Widening42012-01-252013-06-17
N69/N70/N22 Tralee BP (N69-N70 section)D2AP82011-07-122013-08-16
N69/N70/N22 Tralee BP (N22 section)SC5.52011-07-122013-08-16
N40 Cork Southern Ring InterchangesHQDC32011-07-302013-10-04
N3 Mulhuddart Interchange Upgrade JCT02012-092013-10-07
N3 Belturbet BPSC6.72011-05-032013-12-13
R132 Collinstown Cross to Airport RoundaboutD2AP1.32012-02-232013-12
R402 Enfield to EdenderrySC112012-032014-04-14
N5 Ballaghaderreen BypassSC13.62012-11-022014-09-02
N7 Newlands Cross Junction 1A HQDC02013-06-062015-05
M11 Arklow to Rathnew M16.42013-06-062015-07-13
N84 Luimnagh RealignmentSC4.52015-082016-06

SCHEMES CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
SchemeStandardkmWork StartedOpening Date
M17/M18 Gort-Athenry-Tuam M53.42015-01-152017-09-27
N17 Tuam BP D2AP4.22015-01-152017-09-27
M11 Gorey Motorway Service AreaMSA2013-082017-12
M9 Kilcullen Motorway Service AreaMSA2014-05-062018-05
M6 East Athlone Motorway Service AreaMSA2014-10-012018-05
M11 Enniscorthy Bypass M272016-012018-12
N30 Enniscorthy West (M11 Enniscorthy scheme) SC82016-012018-12
N80 Enniscorthy North (M11 Enniscorthy scheme) D2AP42016-012018-12
N25 New Ross Bypass (West) HQDC3.62016-032019-04
N25 New Ross Bypass (East) D2AP102016-032019-04
N25 New Ross Bypass (N30) SC1.22016-032019-04
N86 Tralee to Dingle (some parts underway, some in planning) SC3220162019?

SCHEMES TO START SOON
SchemeStandardkm Work StartingOpening DateStatus
R407 Sallins Bypass D2AP1.62017-Q32018Tender
R407 Sallins Bypass SC2.02017-Q32018Tender
M7 Jct 9A Osberstown INT02017-Q32018Tender
M7 Jct 9-11 Naas-Newbridge 4 to 6 lanes Widening11.52017-Q32020Tender
N56 Mountcharles to Inver (Phase 1) SC2.52017-Q42019-Q2Tender
N56 Illustrin to Kilmacrennan SC3.120172019-Q2Tender
N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Phase 3 Kilkenny to Letterilly) SC4.92018-Q12019-Q3Tender
M6 Rathmorrissy Motorway Service Area MSA2018-Q22019-Q2Planning
N78 Athy Southern Distributor Road SC3.32019?2020Awaiting Approval
N8/N25/N40 Dunkettle Interchange HQDC02019-Q12021Tender, starts Q1-2019
N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin D2AP13.72019-Q22021Tender in Q4-2017
N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin SC1.02019-Q22021Tender in Q4-2017
N5 Westport to Turlough D2AP23.820192021Tender in Q4-2017
N52 Ardee Bypass SC42019?2021?Tender soon
N59 Moycullen Bypass SC4.320182020Start soon
N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Phase 4 Letterilly to Glenties) SC4.920202021Approved
N56 Mountcharles to Inver (Phase 2) SC2.42019?2020Planning
N3 Jct 2 Blanchardstown Improvement HQDC2019?2021Planning
N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom D2AP222020-Q12022Tender in Q1-2018
N6 Galway City Bypass HQDC10.920212024Awaiting Approval
Galway City Bypass (West End) SC5.520212024Awaiting Approval
N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy HQDC2.320212023Awaiting Approval
M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy M8.620212023Awaiting Approval
N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy SC1.520212023Awaiting Approval
N2 Slane Bypass D2AP3.2?2021?2023Route selection
N21 Adare to Rathkeale HQDC/M?
16.720212024Planning App by Q4-2017
N69 Rathkeale to Foynes SC15.520212024Planning App soon
N3 J2 Snugborough Road Interchange Upgrade HQDC2018?2019Planning
N5 Ballaghaderreen-Scramoge (*) SC35.120232026Planning app soon
M3 Dunshaughlin Motorway Service Area MSA20192020Planning
M6/M17/M18 Oranmore Motorway Service Area MSA20192020Planning
M18 Newmarket-on-Fergus Motorway Service Area MSA20192020Planning
N69 Listowel BP (*) SC4.820232025Awaiting Approval
M20 Limerick-Cork (*) M9620232026Will be added to program
N72 Mallow Relief Road SC 20232024Planning
N2 Clontibret-NI Border (*) D2AP24Awaiting Confirmation
N2 Ardee-Castleblayney widening (*) D2AP31Awaiting Confirmation
N56 Letterkenny Relief Road SC?Planning
N13 Letterkenny-Manorcunningham Improvement D2AP?Planning
N14 Letterkenny-Lifford D2AP?Planning
N15 Ballybofey-Stranorlar D2AP?Planning
N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction D2AP24Awaiting Confirmation
M7 Naas-M50 Upgrade (*) M21
N4 upgrade: J1 to J8 (*) M21.9

(*) Not part of Capital Spending Plan

Click here for the full project tracker list, including information on all major previous and upcoming road openings.