A public consultation on the future of the N52 Ardee Bypass will be held in the town next month, where members of the public and local stakeholders will be asked for their views on the scheme in it’s current guise.
Louth County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland are currently in the process of conducting a review of the funded scheme as they consider alternative junctions following on from objections from locals that the current plans will create cul-de-sacs in some areas, cutting off adjoining rural areas from the town.
The public consultation will take place in Ardee Parish Centre on Thursday March 5, between 4pm and 8pm. The local authority are inviting submissions regarding their junction strategy so as the information may be used to assist the design team in any further development.
In 2018, the local authority, as well as Transport Infrastructure Ireland, told concerned residents that plans for the N52 bypass – which was set to begin construction that year – would not be changed at this stage.
That was despite the fact the original plans dated as far back as 2006 and would cut off town access to areas such as Artnalivery and Townspark, where Ardee Celtic FC are based.
Locals argued that the original plan was no longer fit for purpose. However, they made it clear at the time that they merely wanted the plans for the N52 bypass amended, not delayed or stopped completely.
According to the locals, a trip to or from the football grounds and the town centre will be 9.6km in distance with the installation of the cul-de-sacs as part of the bypass. They called on the plans to include staggered junctions so as to allow locals to have access to local roads.
Given the objections and the question marks over the plans, Transport Infrastructure Ireland ordered a review of the entire project back in September of last year – shortly before the €30 project was due to go out to tender. That process was shelved for the time being and the March 5 public consultation is part of that review.