MOTORISTS are set to save up to 30 minutes travel time thanks to the €400m new M11 Gorey-Enniscorthy motorway in Wexford.
The 39km project was opened today by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he hailed the new motorway as a vital boost for the entire south-eastern economy.
The project is comprised of three sections of roadway including a Public Private Partnership Scheme (PPS).
These include the M11 Gorey-Enniscorthy PPS, the M11-N11 mainline and the N30 dual-carriageway.
Mr Varadkar said that the 39km road sections - which critically will allow traffic to avoid Enniscorthy town - will save motorists 30 minutes travel time between Dublin and Wexford at peak time and up to 15 minutes during off-peak time.
Enniscorthy has been struggling over recent years to cope with 6,000 vehicle movements a day - with the bypass fully open to traffic from 4pm on Thursday.
"This is a vital project not just for Wexford but for the entire south east," Mr Varadkar said.
"This is yet more proof of the Government's capital programme being delivered. This is a first-class piece of transport infrastructure. It will deliver its benefits for decades to come."
The project cost a total of €400m and took since January 2016 to complete.
It involved a whopping 1,850,000 man hours of labour.
The scheme includes fifty-seven new structures, including eight overbridges, five underbridges, 31 farm accommodation underpasses, and three Rail River bridges.
During construction a total of 129 previously unknown archaeological sites were discovered and excavated.
The motorway was built using Irish, Dutch and Spanish expertise.
Wexford Co Council Chairman Councillor Michael Sheehan said it was a major day for Wexford and the entire south east.
"Wexford is open for development, growth and investment with Dublin now within easy reach," he said.
"This provides exciting new opportunities for Enniscorthy, in particular."
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Chairman Cormac O'Rourke said the M11 Gorey-Enniscorthy motorway was "a significant milestone in modernising the national road infrastructure.
"It will improve road user safety as well as helping to provide the south east region of the country with the capacity to manage economic growth well into the future."