The urgent necessity for upgrade work to the N2 and the proposed N52 bypass were among the issues raised with Transport Minister Shane Ross today as he paid a visit to Drogheda, where he met local councillors Jim Tenanty and Kevin Callan, as well as TD for Louth Fergus O’Dowd.
Ross visited the slip tolls in Drogheda to view first hand the impact the tolls were having in the viability of vitality of the town itself and he took time to chat to the councillors and Deputy, as well as Sinn Fein councillor Joanna Byrne.
Tenanty, Callan and O’Dowd were all keen to discuss local issues with Minister Ross, including the Ardee Bypass, the continued closure of Ardee Castle and the N2 upgrade which is being progressed as a project between Monaghan County Council, Louth County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
“I put to the Minister that further investment is needed for the upgrade of arterial roads, that a Julianstown and Ardee Bypass are a must and that the remaining Toll contract needs to be scrutinised further,” O’Dowd said in a statement after meeting with the Minister.
“I highlighted the importance of this project to the residents of Ardee, which my colleague Cllr Dolores Minogue has worked so tirelessly on. I again relayed the necessity of securing the long awaited funding in the Mid Term Capital Plan Review for this project.”
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie, Cllr Tenanty said that he was delighted once more to have the Minister in the county. Minister Ross was due to visit Ardee in July to coincide with positive noises in regards to the funding of the Ardee bypass, but that visit was cancelled.
“Minister Ross has been working closely with myself and Cllr Callan and has shown us that as Independent public representatives we can deliver results for our constituents and our area,” Tenanty said in a statement this afternoon. “The N2 upgrade was an issue we specifically dealt with today as the Minister had notified us that works would begin on this project during the summer now both Louth and Monaghan County Councils have advanced on.
“We will be doing all we can with the Minister and his department to get the N2 works underway urgently,” he continued.
The invitation of a meeting with the Minister has also been pursued by Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue through her colleague TD O’Dowd. After the six Ardee Municipal District councillors met with Transport Infrastructure Ireland in April, she said, “That decision [to allocate capital funding for the project] lies with Minister Ross and I have requested a meeting with him through Fergus O’Dowd.”
Cllr Callan added that Minister Ross was the first such minister in the last 20 years to be working so closely with elected councillors on the ground. Callan say he is continuously being briefed on essential projects which have been promised and not delivered for years, adding that Mid-Louth has for years been overlooked and bypassed in terms of funding.
“Shane Ross is giving us a great deal of his time and as fellow independents, we will continue to plug for the area, highlight funding deficits, possible solutions and the Minister has shown he’s more than willing to help.”