||Could open : 2027||Status : Likely|
The M4 is an important route running from Dublin-Sligo. The M6 splits at Kinnegad and continues to Galway, and the N5 splits at Longford and continues to Westport. (A separate proposal would relocate the N5's origin to Carrick-on-Shannon.)
Due to the importance of linking the poorly developed west of Ireland to Dublin and the rest of the road network, two upgrade schemes are on track for the M4: an upgrade of the Downs segment east of Mullingar, which commenced in 2012, and a new offline dual carriageway from northwest of Mullingar to Longford. It is likely that this latter road should be ready to start by 2020.
in 2009, a short segment of the former N4 was redesignated motorway from the M4/M6 split to a point a few kilometres west. The N4 Downs project involves remodelling of the road width to high-quality dual standard, and it would be prudent to do the same while developing the longer Mullingar-Longford scheme, which would enable an upgrade of the whole route from the current end of the M4 at junction 13 as far as an area north of Longford.
The NRA's position on this is not yet clear, and a lot is riding on the standard that the Mullingar-Longford dual carriageway is built to. This has not yet been clarified, and if it is built as D2AP, motorway redesignation will be impossible.
On the other hand, if it is built to HQDC, the conversion of the stub west of Kinnegad shows that there may be the will to eventually create a Dublin-The West motorway, and redesignation will surely follow.
Update July 2019: Although the N4 Mullingar-Longford scheme is back in planning, there is no confirmation yet on whether it will be built as a basic dual carriageway or a motorway.
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|Origin||The Downs, east of Mullingar|
|Terminates||North of Longford|
|Places Served||Mullingar, Edgeworthstown, Longford|