Thursday 30 March 2017

40 main road projects on hold as spending slashed

Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

MORE than 40 'ready-to-go' main road projects are being mothballed after new Transport Minister Pat Carey unveiled a 20pc road spending cut for this year.

Only eight projects will start this year, while dozens more are being long-fingered for several more years, as first revealed in the Irish Independent.

Projects that got the green light in the €867m national road allocations to local authorities yesterday included bypasses of Belturbet in Cavan, Longford, and Tralee, Co Kerry.

Also approved were the Arklow/Rathnew link to Newlands Cross via the N7/N11 in Dublin, the Gort to Tuam stretch of the Atlantic corridor, the Ballyconnell relief road in Cavan, the Cork southern ring road interchange and the realignment of the N4 Dublin to Sligo road at the Downs in Westmeath.

However, more than 40 others key projects cannot now go ahead.

These include bypasses of Sligo, Galway, Mooncoin, and Roscommon, along with nine new motorway rest areas planned and approved for the M7 (Limerick), M8 (Cork), M9 (Waterford), M3 (Cavan) and the N11 (Wexford). While preliminary work is continuing on the notoriously dangerous stretch of the N4 Dublin to Sligo road between Collooney and Castlebaldwin, where 29 people have died over the past three decades, this, too, is subject to funding being made available in the future.

Irish Independent

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