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Road safety improvements at Hollywood to be part of wider plan for N81

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Cllr Avril Cronin and Minister Simon Harris.

Cllr Avril Cronin and Minister Simon Harris.

Minister Simon Harris speaking at the official opening.

Minister Simon Harris speaking at the official opening.

Pictured at the Official Opening of N81 Bend realignment scheme. L-R: Minister Simon Harris, Mr Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council; Cllr Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council; Senator Pat Casey, Cllr Avril Cronin, Cathaoirleach, Baltinglass Municipal District; Cllr Gerry O Neill, Cllr Patsy Glennon, Cllr John Smullen, Cllr Vincent Blake.

Pictured at the Official Opening of N81 Bend realignment scheme. L-R: Minister Simon Harris, Mr Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council; Cllr Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council; Senator Pat Casey, Cllr Avril Cronin, Cathaoirleach, Baltinglass Municipal District; Cllr Gerry O Neill, Cllr Patsy Glennon, Cllr John Smullen, Cllr Vincent Blake.

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Cllr Avril Cronin and Minister Simon Harris.

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THE official opening of the Knockroe Bend realignment project took place on Friday after road hazards were removed from the location.

Construction work commenced in September 2019 and the new alignment was opened to two-way traffic on July of 2020. The main construction work was substantially completed in December 2020.

Wicklow County Council signed the Main Works Contract with Clonmel Enterprises Ltd September 2019 and Site supervision of the Main Works Contract was provided by RPS Consulting Engineers

Performing the official opening, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, said: “The main construction work was substantially completed in December 2020 with a total overall project cost approximately €6.9 million. Again due to Covid restrictions we unfortunately have not been in a position to officially open the scheme until now.’

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Cllr Avril Cronin, Cathaoirleach of Baltinglass Municipal District, stated: “West Wicklow is served by this primary N81 route and is the main artery of travel and access to many small rural areas of west Wicklow. As Cathoirleach of the Baltinglass District, together with my fellow district members, we welcome this alignment works.”

Wicklow County Council passed on thanks to TII for providing funding to facilitate this safety improvement alignment project. The completion of this works will improve the visibility and legibility of the N81, providing a safer transport route on this key piece of infrastructure.

Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, added: “The construction of this scheme has removed the road hazards at this location and will significantly reduce the occurrence of collisions. This will lead to significant benefits and improvement to safety and overall economic returns.”

Also present for the opening was Minister Simon Harris, who stated that there needs to be a comprehensive integrated plan for the N81.

He said: “Earlier this year I met with the Department of Transport to discuss the specific challenges N81 commuters face and the need for a new type of plan for the road that integrates safety improvements like the one opened at Knockroe, with public transport improvements and priority and a wider network of footpaths and cycle lanes. From my own survey of N81 commuters the biggest issues they raised were bus shelters, public lighting and cats eyes along the route”.

He added: “The Department of Transport has made an undertaking to bring the transport agencies together along with County Council to devise a wholistic plan to deliver a comprehensive upgrade of the N81. There are a number of other safety improvements on the N81 that have secured funding including the Hangman’s Bend realignment scheme and new footpaths at Tuckmill. The improvement of the N81 for West Wicklow remains a top priority for me and I look forward to working with the transport agencies involved to bring this much needed improvement to West Wicklow Commuters.”


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