Minister for Transport Shane Ross has confirmed that the Ardee bypass will begin construction in 2018.
In a statement released to the media this afternoon, Minister Ross expressed his delight that the bypass was to proceed. “The Ardee Bypass will have a hugely beneficial impact on traffic congestion and will also be of immense benefit to all motorists in the Louth and Monaghan regions.
“The total estimated cost of this bypass is €20 million and the proposed bypass will be a single carriageway and will include six road junctions and two bridge structures spanning the River Dee and the Garra River. This will greatly improve the safety of all who travel on the road, connectivity for local communities and will significantly reduce travel times.”
In his statement, Minister Ross thanked local independent councillors Jim Tenanty, Kevin Callan and Maeve Yore, as well as Fergus O’Dowd T.D. for their efforts in ensuring that the Ardee Bypass was a priority for both he and his department.
The Ardee bypass was among 11 schemes announced by the Minister this afternoon. ThisIsArdee.ie understands that the Transport Infrastructure Ireland board met today and approved a series of minor works throughout Ireland and notably, the commencement of the long awaited Ardee bypass.
Ross confirmed on Tuesday that funding has been made available and work will commence on the 4.73 km N52 Ardee Bypass in 2018.
Reacting to the news today, Ardee-based councillor Jim Tenanty said “This day has been a very very long time coming. People had lost all hope that this day would ever finally come.
Our town is inundated and overwhelmed by traffic which will now transfer over to the bypass,” he continued. “It is no overstatement to say that this will be the biggest thing to help Ardee in the history of the State. We have worked to get everything lined up in terms of getting the bypass to contract stage and now we see this fantastic news which will benefit everyone in Ardee.”
His fellow Independent councillor Callan, who alongside Tenanty announced in the summer that Ross had pledged progress on the bypass also said he was thrilled with the news.
“Myself and Jim Tenanty made it our number one priority to push this matter with Minister Ross who as a fellow independent was anxious to deliver for an area which had received many false promises and where people had formed the view that the bypass would never get started.
“Today following a year of meetings and pushing we see a result that will totally transform Ardee and free up the town from so much congestion. We are very grateful to the Minister who has given us so much time and effort in getting this project delivered.”
The N52 Ardee bypass will consist 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 hoped the bypass will greatly reduce the large volumes of traffic in the town and thus alleviate the traffic backlogs experienced throughout the day, especially at peak times.
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 was thought that the bypass would be announced as part of the Department of Transport’s Budget 2018 spend but that announcement came and went without any funding for Ardee.
Fergus O’Dowd and Ardee Municipal District councillor Dolores Minogue was among those to air their displeasure at the silence regarding the bypass’ funding – but today’s announcement by Ross signals work on the shovel ready project will be getting underway in the new year.
Six councillors from Ardee Municipal District – including Minogue, Tenanty and others – met with the TII earlier in the year to impress on the body the need for the bypass to come sooner rather than later.