Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Projects

Photo of Maurice QuinlivanMaurice Quinlivan (Limerick City, Sinn Fein)
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34. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport for an update on the works to complete the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Road; when he expects works to recommence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28558/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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It is important to emphasise that the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993.

The Coonagh to Knockalisheen Distributor Road scheme consists of the construction of a new distributor road, cycleways, footpaths and verges between Coonagh roundabout on the Ennis Road and the Knockalisheen Road in the Moyross area of the city. The scheme forms part of the regeneration of Limerick plan which outlines the regeneration of disadvantaged areas in the city with improved transport and access seen as a vital tool in improving socio-economic conditions.

Limerick City and County Council is the contracting authority for the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Distributor Road project. Progress on this road project was interrupted in 2022. Since then, works on the Ballygrennan Bridge, which is over the Galway-Ennis railway line, have been completed.

A further contract for completion of the project has been tendered and this process is continuing by Limerick City and County Council. Subject to a successful outcome to that procurement process, the main construction for the remainder of the project could recommence this year. Progression and completion of the project will allow the local community improved access to various transport modes as well as better local access via the Distributor Road project.

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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35. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will ensure further substantial financial allocations are made by his Department to progress the development of the East West route, with particular reference to the Cootehill/Shercock/Carrickmacross/Dundalk road in view of this road’s strategic importance for the Border region and the urgent need to upgrade same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28641/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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My department has been working with Cavan and Louth County Councils in relation to funding projects associated with the proposed upgraded East West Link Road. As the Deputy is aware the proposed scheme would run on regional routes from Dundalk to Cavan and national routes from Cavan to Sligo.

Going back some time there was a proposal for a substantial upgrade of the regional road part of the route; my department provided over €2 million to Cavan County Council, acting as lead authority with Monaghan and Louth County Councils, to progress the regional road element of the project to preliminary design stage.

However, more recent appraisal work has indicated a very substantial cost if the road scheme was fully implemented. As such, my department engaged Cavan County Council to carry out a risk-based analysis for the route between Dundalk and Cavan. This analysis explored the possibility of a series of interventions which could be implemented over time, and which could improve safety, journey times, and bring consistency to the travel speed along the route. From this risk analysis individual local authorities examined if, and how, projects identified could be brought forward, while taking into account their own priorities and available resources.

Following this process, my department allocated funding to both Cavan and Louth County Councils to carry out initial assessments of two possible schemes. Subsequently, both Louth and Cavan County Councils submitted Strategic Assessment Reports for these two schemes. These submissions have been reviewed and approval has been provided to advance both schemes. My department has provided further funding in 2024 for both Cavan County Council and Louth County Council to advance these schemes through to the end of Phase 2 “Route Selection” (see TII Project Management Guidelines, 3.3 Overview of Project Phases). This process is underway by the local authorities and following completion, a further review of both schemes will be examined by my department before approval to the next phase.

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