The deadline for submissions on the Ardee Bypass public consultation has been extended by three weeks in light of public restrictions due to the ongoing public health crisis. The initial deadline of March 31 has now been extended to Tuesday April 21.
The extension of the deadline comes days after Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough quizzed council officials on whether or not the deadline would be extended. Director of Services Frank Pentony told Cllr McGeough the matter would be looked at.
A public consultation was held at Ardee Parish Centre on March 5, where representatives from Louth County Council met members of the public to hear their feedback, answer their questions and accept written submissions from the public and interested stakeholders regarding the junction strategy.
The local authority confirmed to LouthNow.ie that 160 persons attended the consultation. The local authority 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 local authority invited submissions regarding their junction strategy so as the information may be used to assist the design team in any further development. Submissions can be mailed to: Freepost Number FDN5329, N52 Ardee Bypass, Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting Engineers, Arena House, Arena Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, D18 V8P6. Alternatively, persons can email Roughan & O’Donovan via email on N52Ardee@ROD.ie.
“Some of the older community especially, need assistance in the administrative end of things and usually they would seek help from family members or local councillors. However, in light of the coronavirus and following government advice to stay home and keep a physical distance, it has made the process a bit more difficult and prolonged for them,” McGeough said.
“I want to thank Roghan & O’Donovan Engineers for their flexibility in this matter. The Ardee Bypass is badly needed but we must ensure that it is done correctly and to the community’s satisfaction.”
Over the coming months, the design team will review the submissions received, refine and develop the junction strategy options, undertake further environmental and engineering studies to assess the benefits and impacts of each option in detail and identify an emerging preferred option. This emerging preferred option will be presented at a Second Public Consultation prior to finalisation of the route.
Another public consultation will be held in June to allow locals to have their say on the preferred option, of a number of proposed solutions put forward by the project leads. The local authority expect the new plan to go for Part 8 approval in November of this year.