The N11 is the major artery threading its way south from Dublin through Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, taking in a number of pleasant seaside towns and finally ending at the major port of Rosslare at the extreme southeastern tip of Ireland.
The road begins around the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway, the first dual carriageway road in the country, built from the 1950s to the 70s. There are only 2 grade separated spots, at UCD and Cherrywood.
As the road reaches the edge of the city, it turns into the M11 Bray bypass, completed in 1991. In the middle of the bypass is a reconstructed section where it ties in with the M50, completed in June 2005. The bypass ends at the south end of Bray and a long, low standard dual carriageway begins. This dual section was created by cobbling short sections built on the cheap from the 1970s to the 1980s. The newest section is the one that was hardest and most controversial to build - the Glen of the Downs, completed in 2003 after a long, arduous campaign against it by Greens who claimed it would destroy the old-growth trees of the glen. Campaigners built treehouses in the trees along the road. Later though, they were forced to move out of these, due to damage inadvertently being inflicted on the area. However, in the end, it seems that only 70 trees were felled. This was achieved by giving the road a narrow profile through the section. The total length of time to complete the project, from start of work, protest, resumption of work, and completion, was around 10 years.
In 2004, a high standard extension of the dual carriageway south as far as the outskirts of Wicklow town was completed. From here, a 16 km winding single carriageway section which used to wend its way through the trees and suffered from a high accident rate was replaced by motorway in July 2015. Next, the route passes the town of Arklow, whose bypass was completed in 1999. Although built to motorway spec, grousing from the locals prevented it getting the designation until 2009. An extension of the road southwards to the far end of the murderous-sounding Gorey was opened between July and September 2007. This part was built to a slightly lower standard than other motorways in the country, though it was apparently still suitable for reclassification to motorway in 2009.
Traffic is generally high on the N11, and even this far from the city, any bottlenecks cause significant problems. The blackspot has now moved south to Enniscorthy, and accordingly the road will be extended even further south to clear this town too, programmed for 2017. From here, it's single carriageway south until, over the River Slaney, the road ends at the N25 at Wexford, where one can continue to the important port of Rosslare using the N25.
As far as traffic levels go, the highest is at Fassaroe just south of the the M11 Bray bypass. At more than 60000 in 2012, this is enough to justify not just motorway, but 6-lane motorway - far in excess of the road's current standard. Traffic levels at the southern end of Gorey are only around 10000 in the middle of summer, though traffic growth on much of Ireland's trunk road network during the boom years was 10% a year.
In 2008, a new junction 11 at Kilpeddar and Delgany opened to traffic, and in 2013 construction kicked off on a motorway services area at Gorey, Co. Wexford. The service area will be completed in late 2015.
In December 2015, construction started on the 27 km Enniscorthy bypass, which also includes new connections to the N80 and N30. This will extend motorway to the village of Oilgate. The new route is expected to open in summer 2019.
With an aim to connect the port of Rosslare to the rest of the country, a dual carriageway is planned to connect the end of the M11 south of Enniscorthy to Rosslare at some point in the 2020s. With recent changes due to Brexit, south-facing ports in Ireland are suddenly much more important, as they can ship freight to and from France without having to use Britain as a landbridge. There is now the possibility that the extension from Enniscorthy to Rosslare could be a full motorway.
There is a long-range plan to widen and upgrade the low-standard non-motorway part of the N11 between Bray (at the M50) and Ashford by 2035. This would involve widening the northern end to 6 lanes - the exact extent of this is not decided - and improvement to motorway standard, as far as possible, of the whole.
Yesterday on the 18th July the M11 Enniscorthy Bypass opened in County Wexford.
The motorway 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.
J4 Bray to Kilmacanogue to J14 Coyne's Cross is at route selection.
N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour is at Feasibility Study.
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.
Oilgate-Rosslare preferred route has also been announced.
Option C Combination 14 was chosen, and a map of the route is on page 355 of this document. The scheme has an official length of 31.1 km.
Here is a description of the route taken from the document:
"Option C (Option Combination 14) has been identified as the Preferred Option. It begins at the
southern end of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy Scheme and passes east of Oilgate before joining
the existing N11 south of Oilgate and follows the existing N11 before crossing the River Slaney
west of Ferrycarrig Bridge. From here the option follows the same corridor as Option A, following
the existing N11 and the N25 (along the existing Wexford Ring Road) before passing southwest
of the existing Rosslare Road Roundabout. It then passes Stephenstown and continues east
running north of Tagoat and ends at Rosslare Harbour."
Surprisingly, under the Design Standards section on page 356, it says that the cross section throughout will be Type 1 Dual Carriageway with a design speed of 120kph.
Previously roads built to this standard in this country were usually opened as full motorways.
Up to now it had seemed likely that the standard on the southern half (Wexford-Rosslare) would be lower due to low traffic volumes, but it is possible the positive impact of Brexit on Rosslare Europort may have played a part in this decision.
To see a map of this scheme on this site, open the N25 page and scroll to the bottom.
The preferred route for the N11/M11 J4 to J14 Improvement scheme has been announced and is available to view in a virtual conference room.
Open up the room here. Rotate right and open up the map listed as "Interactive Map of Preferred Road Improvements".
Here are some observations on the route:
- J4-J5 to be widened from 6 to 8 lanes by adding auxiliary lanes. If the M50 is widened to 6 lanes in future, this might need to be 10. Six of those would be the M50 lanes and 4 the N11 ones. Unusal layout in that the mainline would go from 4 N11 lanes to 6 M50 ones.
- Was initially disappointed that the Bray bypass will not be widened to 6 lanes mainline, but there isn't room along most of it and the new service roads will be functionally part of the road. Broadly happy with these new service roads as a solution. Glad that Herbert Road will no longer have its incredibly dangerous direct access to the mainline.
- The new J5 *might* work. The plan is have the N11 with north-facing ramps at J5, and south-facing at J6.
- Some thought should go into how the Luas will get through the new J5 as it will probably run along the west side of the M11 before crossing it at that junction to reach central Bray.
- That Luas line also envisaged a big P&R at Fassroe. But the plan now is to close that junction so NB car traffic would need to exit at Bray South and come up the new side roads to get to Fassroe. So it's no longer a great location for that P&R.
- No redesignation to motorway for J6 Fassaroe-J7 Bray South (and beyond). The N11 will no longer have stopping lanes, but that should not preclude it.
- Surprised and pleased with the new plan for J7 Bray South. Shows imagination.
- Happy with the new side roads and closures for the busy J8-J9, though some are vaguely defined as Phase 3.
- There is land for a new road south of J8 near Kilmurray west of the N11 connecting a potential new side road to the cottages, but no road is marked on the land so not sure if this has been finalised yet.
- Pity there will not be protected side routes for cyclists/pedestrians provided through Glen of the Downs. Happy with it otherwise, though they really should build a tunnel and narrow the surface dual carriageway.
- Happy with the changes to be made north and south of Kilpeddar, and complete closure of J10. These changes should have been made when new J11 was opened in 2008, but better late than never.
- Rap on the knuckles for no improvement to J12 SB offramp. This incredibly dangerous diverge nearly killed me many years ago. Notes say there may be further changes north of that in Phase 3, so fingers crossed.
- No improvement at all will be made to the junction layout at J13 at NTMK. No new side road between J13 and J14. Bus stop on the mainline just north of J14 to be retained. This means redesignation of J12-14 as motorway, which would have been very easy, is off the table. All very poor.
So broadly speaking, it seems the northern end of the scheme will greatly improve safety and, through the provision of new side roads, capacity. No change will be made to the Glen which is wise. They could have done better with the Newtownmountkennedy bypass. We'll see how the Green Minister for Transport views this scheme soon enough.
A newsletter has been released for the N11/N25 Oilgate-Rosslare scheme.
The long and short of it is that the project team expect to lodge their planning application in 2023.
With 6-12 months for a decision and a year for procurement, this would see construction tentatively start in 2025.
The scheme is expected to extend the M11 as motorway to somewhere west of Wexford with a lower-standard dual carriageway the rest of the way to Rosslare Harbour, where the new road would meet a port whose freight volumes are expanding rapidly in the wake of Brexit.
The Wexford People newspaper has run this article recently on the N11/N25 Oilgate-Rosslare scheme:
Wexford TD and Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne T.D. has confirmed that an application for the funding of the Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour Motorway Bypass Extension was made to the EU Commission and a positive announcement is expected imminently.
The Government supported Wexford County Council's application for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility to ensure the delivery of the N11/N25 Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour motorway scheme.
"The application relates to funding to complete the design and planning phase and funding is expected in the amount of €2.7 million."
"Extending the M11 motorway from Oylegate to Rosslare is a priority for the Government. I was delighted to get the project restarted following its stopping under the previous Government. This funding will help to speed up the delivery of the motorway extension," Minister Browne concluded.