MORE than 18 months after its initial start date, a new date of April 2013 has been set for the N11 upgrade between Rathnew and Arklow.
Last week the European Investment Bank pledged support for the N11 upgrade coupled with a heights separated junction at Newlands Cross, Co. Dublin.
The upgrade will see the 16.5km section of roadway between Arklow and Rathnew upgraded to four lanes improving both road safety and travel times.
Last Wednesday, European Investment Bank vice-president Mihai Tanasescu indicated the bank hoped to finalise 'a bid' for the N11 project, to be built by way of public private partnership (PPP), by the beginning of February.
He said the initiative would ' reopen' PPPs in the Irish transport sector, and said the bank was 'working very hard' on delivering such projects.
Mr. Tanasescu's remarks come on the heels of comments from Cormac O'Rourke of the National Roads Authority who confirmed to the Oireachtas Transport committee that progress on the project was being made.
The European bank's action means it will effectively guarantee the Government's share of the PPP project.
The public private partnership was, according to Construction Information Services, due to start construction in May 2011 with an end date of May 2013.
However the entire project has been beset by delays mainly thought to result from funding and contractual difficulties.
In February of this year the ESB carried out realignment works on the High Voltage transmission line at Ballyvaltron and Kilmurray.
The works were preparatory works necessary before construction could begin.
The project is expected to cost in the region of €180,000,000 and will also include a service station at Ballyellen in Gorey.
If a start day of April 2013 is achieved the works are expected to be completed in April 2015 as there is a 24 month completion period.
In July of this year Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said 'negotiations are close to completion.
All going well, we hope to start construction work in the near future.'
Work on the new section of the road between Rathnew and Wicklow had been due to start earlier this year.