It is debatable as to whether a motorway replacement for the N6 was needed, considering its traffic levels.
Only Athlone had any major needs. Nonetheless, the new route was opened mainly in 2009 and 2010.
It is counting very low levels of traffic for a cross-island route. Levels are probably being held down by the recession.
However, the towns along the route can breathe a sigh of relief at finding themselves bypassed.
It is likely that the Athlone bypass's relentless rise in vehicle flow over the years will necessitate improvements within a decade.
Since it functions as a distributor road for Athlone local movements, adding parallel access roads could help.
Notably, although the recession resulted in counts stagnating for 2008 and 2009, there was another increase in 2010 - possibly due to the completion of the final sections of M6 to the west side.
Some minor improvements, but no widening or straightening out of bends, took place in 2013.