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Minogue: FG members support Ardee bypass priority status

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A lorry makes the tight turn from Market Street onto the Kells Road. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

The issue of securing priority funding for Ardee bypass was raised at a meeting of local Fine Gael representatives on Monday – with Ardee councillor Dolores Minogue saying she is working hard to ensure the party considers this project a top priority in the county.

Minogue attended Monday’s meeting of Fine Gael representatives and party members in Louth where she says an agreement was made by present members to put the N52 bypass forward to party leaders as a priority for capital investment in Louth.

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While a number of capital infrastructure projects were discussed at the meeting, Minougue says she was able to secure wide spread agreement among party members that the Ardee Bypass should be the main priority for any future capital projects in the county.

The views of the Fine Gael members have been now been forwarded to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar along with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe. The local Ardee Municipal District councillor confirmed to ThisIsArdee.ie that she has followed up the decision, contacting Mr Varadkar’s office directly to ensure the Ardee Bypass was put forward by the Louth branch.

“Although I have been working tirelessly on this issue with TD Fergus O Dowd since being elected 2014 and after securing a meeting with the TII earlier in the year, to have the Louth Fine Gael members supporting my fight is fantastic,” she added. “I look forward to a reply from the Taoiseach and Transport Infrastructure Ireland on this very important issue.

“I am confident that a decision will be announced soon,” she continued.”The bypass would benefit the town and divert the flow of ‘through’ traffic away from the town. The benefits will include removing some traffic congestion in the town, reducing noise and vibration and improving road safety – and hopefully improve the local economy too.”

The proposed N52 Ardee bypass consists of 4.48km of reduced single carriageway road and is planned to commence at Mandistown to the west of Ardee running east to Mullanstown on the N2 road North of Ardee. The scheme includes two river crossings of the River Dee and River Garra, a staggered junction at Silver Hill road and a T junction with the Mullenstown Road.

It is currently categorised as being in the planning stages by Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The Ardee bypass was not originally included on the government’s Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021 but in November last year, the project was placed on the priority list meaning that if a project was to fall by the wayside, the Ardee bypass would be next in line to pick up the money available.

It is currently on the table for discussion as part of the Capital Investment Plan’s mid-term review, meaning funding could be allocated this year.

According to Independent councillors Kevin Callan and Jim Tenanty, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has given them personal assurances that the Ardee bypass is likely to recevive full funding at the end of the mid-term capital expenditure review. The duo have confirmed they are “fully satisfied” multi-million euro funding is on the way.

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