Minister for Transport Shane Ross has today confirmed that the Ardee bypass is to proceed – after funding was secured and made available for the long awaited project.
Independent councillors Kevin Callan and Jim Tenanty have told ThisIsArdee.ie today that they have received confirmation from Ross that the bypass has finally been given the go-ahead, after years of waiting and false dawns on the major project.
In a statement issued to ThisIsArdee.ie this afternoon, councillor Callan said that he and Tenanty had been working closely with the Minister for over a year behind the scenes to advance this much needed project and praised the decision to grant the project the go-ahead.
“We have been saying for a long time that Mid-Louth has suffered from a serious lack of national investment into projects like the Ardee bypass. Today is a great day for Ardee which will hugely impact on the levels of traffic congestion the town has suffered from for years,” he said.
ThisIsArdee.ie has contacted the Minister Ross’ office for further confirmation and information and is awaiting a reply.
Late last year, the western bypass for Ardee – seen as the key to alleviating the town of it’s traffic gridlock problems – was made a priority case by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, meaning it has moved up the list of projects awaiting funding to begin.
The lands on the north-west side of the town have long been been acquired and the only obstacle standing in the projects way is the financial allocation needed. The project has been ‘shovel ready’ since the acquisition of those lands.
Minister Ross had previously spoken out on the subject of the proposed Ardee N52 western bypass – saying that no funding would be made available for work to start on the N52 bypass due to it not being included in the 2015-2021 capital funding programme. However, it’s priority status meant that it was considered for funding in the mid-term review this year.
Additionally, Minister Ross also confirmed to the councillors today that that Transport Infrastructure Ireland has already provided funding for a safety review of the N2 on the single carriageway between Drumgeeny and the Castleblayney bypass.
The draft engineering advisor’s report concluded that the rate of fatal collisions on the single carriageway road exceeds the rate from a reference class of similar primary roads. The report also identified a number of measures that will improve safety on the section of the route.
Speaking on the matter, Tenanty said, “The Minister has confirmed to us that some measures will be implemented immediately and that Transport Infrastructure Ireland will now provide additional funding to develop an online upgrade of the N2 North of Ardee to the South of Castleblayney Bypass”.
The councillors say that project is now at the stage where the project will move to preliminary design stage and planning consent as soon as possible. The project will be a joint project involving both Louth and Monaghan County Councils.