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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
1 M11     M17M18 
2M20M21 NEW!M22 M24M25  M28 NEW! 
3          
4M40    M45    
5M50         

The M45 represents the future Leinster Outer Orbital and has been repeatedly moved to planning and then cancelled. No part of it exists yet and its numbering is uncertain.
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 M21 Adare Bypass which will start at the M20, and in October 2017 it was confirmed that this will be motorway. This is expected to open by 2024.
By 2024, a new motorway, the M28, will be created.


SCHEMES RECENTLY COMPLETED
 
SchemeStandardkmWork StartedOpening Date
N7 Newlands Cross Junction 1AHQDC02013-06-062015-05
M11 Arklow to RathnewM16.42013-06-062015-07-13
N84 Luimnagh RealignmentSC4.52015-082016-06
M17/M18 Gort-Athenry-TuamM53.42015-01-152017-09-27
N17 Tuam BPD2AP4.22015-01-152017-09-27

SCHEMES CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 
SchemeStandardkmWork StartedOpening Date
N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Phase 3 Kilkenny to Letterilly)SC3.62018-01-282019-Q1
M7 Jct 9-11 Naas-Newbridge 4 to 6 lanesWidening11.52018-01-062019-04
R407 Sallins BypassD2AP1.62017-112019-04
R407 Sallins BypassSC22017-112019-04
M11 Gorey Motorway Service AreaMSA2013-082019-Q2
N56 Illustrin to KilmacrennanSC3.12018-012019-Q2
N56 Mountcharles to Inver (Phase 1)SC2.52018-03-122019-Q2
M11 Enniscorthy BypassM272016-012019-07-31
N30 Enniscorthy West (M11 Enniscorthy scheme)SC82016-012019-07-31
N80 Enniscorthy North (M11 Enniscorthy scheme)D2AP42016-012019-07-31
N25 New Ross Bypass (West)HQDC3.62016-032019-08
N25 New Ross Bypass (East)D2AP102016-032019-08
N25 New Ross Bypass (N30)SC1.22016-032019-08
M7 Jct 9A OsberstownINT02018-01-062019-10
M9 Kilcullen Motorway Service AreaMSA2014-05-062019-10
M6 East Athlone Motorway Service AreaMSA2014-10-012019-11
N86 Tralee to Dingle (some parts underway, some in planning)SC3220162020

SCHEMES TO START SOON
 
SchemeStandardkmWork StartingOpening DateStatus
N8/N25/N40 Dunkettle InterchangeHQDC02019-Q12021Pre-construction
N4 Collooney to CastlebaldwinD2AP13.72019-Q12021Tender
N4 Collooney to CastlebaldwinSC12019-Q12021Tender
N52 Ardee BypassSC4.52019-Q12020-Q4Design Review
N22 Ballyvourney to MacroomD2AP22Summer 20192021Tender
N5 Westport to TurloughD2AP23.82019-092021-09Tender
N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Phase 4 Letterilly to Kilraine)SC4.920192020Approved
N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Phase 5 Dungloe to Cloghbolie)SCc.620192020Approved
N56 Mountcharles to Inver (Phase 2)SC2.420192020Planning
N69 Listowel BPSC4.82020-032021Tender
N78 Athy Southern Distributor RoadSC3.320202022Awaiting Approval
N59 Moycullen BypassSC4.320212022Planning
M6 Galway City BypassM10.920212024Awaiting Approval
Galway City Bypass (West End)SC5.520212024Awaiting Approval
M28 Cork to RingaskiddyM10.520212024Planning Granted
N28 Cork to RingaskiddySC1.520212024Planning Granted
N2 Slane BypassD2AP3.2?20232025Route selection
M21 Adare to RathkealeM16.720212024Planning App by Q2-2019
N69 Rathkeale to FoynesDC15.520212024Planning App by Q2-2019
N5 Ballaghaderreen-ScramogeSC35.120232026Planning granted
M3 Dunshaughlin Motorway Service AreaMSAPlanning
M6/M17/M18 Oranmore Motorway Service AreaMSAPlanning
M18 Newmarket-on-Fergus Motorway Service AreaMSAPlanning
M20 Limerick-CorkM9620232026Design
N72 Mallow Relief RoadSC20212023Route Selection
M40 Cork Northern Ring RoadM10.420232026Design
N3 Jct 1-4 M50 to CloneeHQDC/M5Design
N56 Letterkenny Relief RoadSC2Route Selection
N13 Letterkenny-Manorcunningham ImprovementD2AP5.8Route Selection
N14 Letterkenny-LiffordD2AP19Route Selection
N15 Ballybofey-StranorlarD2AP14.9Route Selection
N2 Clontibret-NI BorderD2AP24Planning
N2 Ardee-Castleblayney wideningD2AP31Planning
M4 Jct 5-7 Maynooth-Leixlip WideningM38Planning
M11/M50 to KilmacanogueD3AP7.5Planning
N11 Kilmacanogue to Coyne's CrossM14.5Planning


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