Ardee nowhere as Ross unveils capital spending increase
The N52 Ardee Bypass has not been announced as part of the Department of Transport’s capital expenditure plan for 2018 today – and it remains to be seen whether news of funding for the long awaited project will be forthcoming.
It had been expected that that full funding for the Ardee Bypass would be announced at 4pm today as Minister for Transport Ross and Minister of State for Transport Brendan Griffin outlined how they will spent the allocation of the department’s funding for the year ahead.
Tuesday’s Budget 2018 announcement saw Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue increase capital spending for 2018 across the board by €790, a move which increased the capital budget of the Department of Transport by €215m.
Local elected councillors and TDs were expecting that positive news would be delivered today but will other projects have been listed by name, there is no mention or confirmation of the N52 bypass funding.
The Ardee bypass was not mentioned by name in today’s announcement by Ross. As part of the ‘Roads Capital Plan’ the Minister announced his department are investing in projects ‘which will relieve bottlenecks and improve access to regional locations, thus helping to deliver jobs into the regions.’
It continues: ‘Similarly, local bottlenecks are being dealt with which will significantly improve life and safety in towns such Sallins; Killaloe; Athy; Portlaoise; Dingle and Laytown/Bettystown.’ There is no mention of Ardee.
The N52 Ardee bypass is currently categorised as being in the planning stages by Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The Ardee bypass was not originally included on the government’s Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021 but in November last year, the project was placed on the priority list meaning that if a project was to fall by the wayside, the Ardee bypass would be next in line to pick up the money available.
It was earlier in the year on the table for discussion as part of the Capital Investment Plan’s mid-term review, meaning funding could be allocated this year. If that is to be the case, it was thought it would have been included in Ross’ capital expenditure plan to be revealed today, with €1.2 billion of extra funding for the Department as a whole over the next four years revealed as part of the Budget.
The proposed N52 Ardee bypass consists of 4.48km of reduced single carriageway road and is planned to commence at Mandistown to the west of Ardee running east to Mullanstown on the N2 road North of Ardee. The scheme includes two river crossings of the River Dee and River Garra, a staggered junction at Silver Hill road and a T junction with the Mullenstown Road.