Work starts on vital link road in Sligo
Summer of next year likely completion date for access route
Work on a €30 million road project linking Caltragh to the Balldoogan area of Sligo which will open up IDA lands, got underway on Monday.
The major road project backed by the IDA and the Department of Transport will see the construction of a three kilometre link road from Ballydoogan to the Caltragh interchange.
The Western Distributor Road Phase 2 comprises a new single carriageway south west of Sligo Town commencing at the Ballydoogan Road (WDR Phase 1) and terminating at the N4 Caltragh Interchange.
The scheme will improve access to the existing IDA Business Park at Finisklin and provide access to the proposed new IDA Business Park at Oakfield and zoned land in the area.
Speaking ahead of the commencement of works on Monday, Director of Services with Sligo County Council, Tom Kilfeather, said the project is expected to be completed over an 18 month period.
Siac Construction were successful in the tendering process.
Describing it as a "significant project for Sligo" Mr Kilfeather said the outcome of the project would allow for a similar business park like that already in Finisklin to be developed.
"It will open up lands for the IDA for development as a business park. The business park in Finisklin is quite full at the moment so they need a new front to open to attract more industry into Sligo."
Mr Kilfeather acknowledged the support of the Department of Transport and the IDA in bringing the project to fruition.
Asked if the 18 month timeframe for completion was realistic for the project, the Director of Services was confident.
"Siac Construction would have an 18 month timescale so we would be very confident that they would deliver it within that timescale."
Speaking to The Sligo Champion, Mayor of Sligo Municipal Cllr Rosaleen O'Grady said the project would open "the entire development on Oakfield Road."
"It's a major project so it has to be welcomed, to see that amount of money coming to Sligo and that kind of development and it was much-needed," noted Cllr O'Grady. The Fianna Fáil councillor also welcomed assurances from engineers that while construction is taking place, the junction at Kevinsfort Heath would also be looked at.
"For me as a local councillor that is very welcomed because there has been ongoing issues and I've got the commitment of the engineering staff that in conjunction with the construction that road will be looked at and junctions further down. It's a wonderful project and all of this has to bring progress," she concluded.
Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Cllr Martin Baker commended those involved on the project.
"I'd like to compliment the staff because a lot of the work in progressing this project has been done by in house staff, despite cutbacks the amount of time and effort they put into it they worked a lot beyond their resources.
"Brían Flynn has taken over as head engineer on the project which is a huge compliment to the council that we have engineers of that quality," said the Cathaoirleach.
He added: "The delivery of this major scheme is hugely significant for Sligo as a 'Designated Centre for Growth' under the National Planning Framework.
"It will provide access to IDA Ireland lands at Oakfield, and in a wider context is important in terms of Sligo's status as the economic, tourist and cultural capital of the Northwest.'
SIAC Construction Ltd was appointed in November 2018 to complete the main construction contract and it is anticipated that the scheme will be open to traffic in Q2 of 2020.