Relief for commuters as new N11 road to Dublin opens months ahead of schedule
There is a newfound relief for commuters to the capital today as the new stretch of dual carriageway between Arklow and Rathnew opens three months ahead of schedule.
The opening of the 16.5km stretch of road comes as a motorway order for the one remaining unfinished section of the N11 is also given the go-ahead.
This will create 90km of non-tolled motorway or dual carriageway from Dublin to Gorey, Wexford.
The new road, entitled the M11, is expected to reduce the travel times for commuters.
Sean Quirke, Director of Roads at Wicklow County Council, said the new road will also eliminate a specific section of unsafe road which has seen numerous fatalities.
"It will be a new road titled the M11," Mr Quirke told the Wicklow People newspaper.
"It will have a 120km/h speed limit and obviously it will reduce the travel times for commuters, while also eliminating unsafe areas such as the Ballinameesda Bends, where unfortunately there have been a number of fatalities down the years."
The construction of the project consisted of 16.5km of dual carriageway, two interchanges at the Beehive and Jack White's crossroads, five under-bridges and three over-bridges.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe also welcomed the news and described the road as 'essential'.
"The existing N11 between Rathnew and Arklow is currently single carriageway with a narrow cross section, poor overtaking opportunities and no hard shoulder over the northern half,' Minister Donohoe said.
"There is a wider cross section again with limited safe overtaking opportunities over the southern half. The route does not have a good road safety record, making the opening of this new scheme absolutely essential."
It is estimated that between 35 and 45 per cent of those employed in the Arklow area commute to Dublin every day.
You can see more aerial photographs of the scene at Skycam Ireland's official Facebook page.