Fine Gael duo Fergus O’Dowd and Dolores Minogue have expressed their delight at today’s news that the #Ardee bypass is to begin construction in 2018, with Minister Shane Ross announcing €20 million to spend on the long awaited project.
Speaking shortly after Minister Ross’ announcement was made late this afternoon, O’Dowd welcomed the news and said he would be working hard to ensure the project is completed, claiming the whole project is merely at “the start line.”
“€20 million has been secured for this vital infrastructural project following TII’s announcement today that it has approved road safety schemes to a value of over € 136m ,” the Drogheda-based deputy said.
“My colleague Councillor Dolores Minogue and I have been working extremely hard to deliver this project over the last 3 years and I’m delighted that we have helped get the project to the start line, we must continue to prioritise this issue until we see the project completed.
“The Ardee Bypass is a vital infrastructure project for the people of Ardee and Mid Louth, traffic congestion in particular has become unbearable in the town itself, having a major impact on the traders of the town. The Bypass will finally give the town the opportunity to reach its potential, in particular it will rid the town of the unwanted congestion and HGV traffic that has plighted trade in the town over the last number of years,” he added.
“Recently I canvassed the Town Traders alongside my colleague Cllr Minogue and this is quite clearly one of the major hindrances to trade in the town. Many people avoid the town completely as they don’t want to sit in traffic for 15-20 mins to visit a local store.
“The people of Ardee have felt forgotten on this issue in many ways, I have consistently re-affirmed my commitment to delivering results alongside my party colleagues, Cllr Minogue has worked tirelessly on this project and has left the Minister, the TII and the Louth County Council in no uncertain terms to the importance of the project to the residents of Ardee.”
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie, Minogue said this news was “a game changer” for the area.
“It’s fantastic, it’s absolutely brilliant” she said. “I raised it at every meeting, with every TD, every Minister. It’s a game changer for the town. It will make the town more attractive to the likes of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland and it will take traffic off the town.
She also paid tribute to former local representatives that have come before now, pointing out this outcome is a result of years of work and pressure.
“It was councillors before us too – the Ardee Town Council, so you have to congratulate former councillors too. We’ve just brought it to fruition. And the county managers too. It puts Ardee on the map. Ardee is open for business. We have loads going for us – Ardee is flying at the minute. It’s another positive.
“This will add so much value to our town. It’s good for business, good for motorists, pedestrians and good for the shopper. It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s such good news. It’s a great Christmas present for Ardee and Mid-Louth.”
She continued: “I’m delighted that we have finally secured the Ardee Bypass for the people of Ardee and Mid Louth. We have been campaigning for years now to increase transport capacity in the area and improve road and pedestrian safety.
“This project will go a long way to delivering a better quality of life for Ardee Residents by removing unnecessary congestion, noise and pollutants form the town centre. The town also has the chance now to go from strength to strength by making it a much more desirable location for people to shop and spend.”
Minogue previously set up a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Ireland through her position as chairperson of the Ardee Municipal District. With the assistance of Paul Bell, then Louth Coco chairman, she successfully secured a meeting. “I put a motion forward to meet the TII but no councillor would support. I was successful in getting a meeting, then the councillors came on board after refusing to support the original request.”
Back in September, Minogue told ThisIsArdee.ie, “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. “I am confident that a decision will be announced soon.”
Work on Ardee By Pass will start in 2018. Delighted that €20Mill secured for this vital infrastructural project. @CllrDolores and I have worked relentlessly to secure funding. Ardee residents and traders deserve this result.It will be a game changer @LMFMRADIO @ThisIsArdee pic.twitter.com/2JOanG1T7W
— Fergus O’Dowd (@Fergusodowd) December 12, 2017
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.