Limerick to Foynes Road will promote efficient and effective transport links in the region, and improve connectivity between Foynes Port, Limerick, and the surrounding areas.
Bypass of Adare to be delivered as part of the massive infrastructure scheme
Limerick City and County Council has welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to approve the Limerick to Foynes Road development which includes the Adare Bypass project.
The proposed Limerick to Foynes Road project is 35km in length, at a cost of around €450m, and will connect the core Port of Foynes to the national motorway network.
The road development is comprised of the construction of:
-Approximately 15.6km of dual carriageway from Foynes to Rathkeale (with approximately 1.9km of single carriageway road between Ballyclogh and Askeaton)
-Approximately 17.5km of motorway from Rathkeale to the existing motorway network at Attyflin (N21/N20/M20 junction)
-A service area for Heavy Goods Vehicles near Foynes
The new Foynes to Limerick Road will promote efficient and effective transport links in the region, and improve connectivity between Foynes Port, Limerick, and the surrounding areas.
The project will also deliver a bypass of Adare, therefore improving the urban environment of the heritage and tourist town, while increasing road capacity, reducing journey times, and improving safety for road users.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Francis Foley said: “Today is a very important day in the development of Limerick and in particular West Limerick. The new road will help connect the Port of Foynes directly to the national motorway network, making it easier for goods to be delivered. It will also allow for a bypass of Adare, addressing the bottlenecks in the area, meaning that the village can be developed even more as a tourist destination and host of the Ryder Cup 2027.
It is incumbent that everything possible is done to ensure the Adare Bypass is in place by 2027.”
Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Dr Pat Daly said: “The proposed road will be very significant for the strategic development and expansion of Shannon Foynes Port, for West Limerick and the Midwest Region in general.
The Council will continue to work in partnership with the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to expedite the delivery of this significant infrastructure project.”
Director of Transportation and Mobility with Limerick City and County Council Brian Kennedy added: “This project will include a bypass of Adare, which will run to the north of the Village, and it will remove in the region of 70 – 80% of the traffic currently passing through the village – around 17,000 vehicles per day. The proposed road is vital to improve safety and remove traffic delays.
Limerick City and County Council is very conscious that approximately 200 landholdings (including nine dwelling houses and approximately 105 farms) are impacted by the proposed development. We will continue to engage with all impacted landholders and householders over the next few weeks and throughout the duration of the project.”
The Limerick to Foynes Road project has taken several years from inception to being granted permission.
In 2014, Limerick City and County Council engaged Engineering Consultants to undertake the planning, design, and environmental assessment of the proposed development.
In 2016, a route selection report was published, and the design of the proposed development was subsequently progressed.
In December 2019, Limerick City and County Council submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Natura Impact Statement and Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála for the proposed development.
Following a request from An Bord Pleanála, further information was submitted in September 2020 and a virtual oral hearing was held in February 2021. A decision to grant the development was granted on Wednesday 31 August 2022.
Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said that the Foynes to Limerick Road is one of the key links in the supply chain that will enable the Shannon Estuary to become a critical part of the wider European response to climate change and dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
“Day by day we read of the urgency around energy security and climate change and while realising the incredible opportunity from floating offshore wind and related green fuels production is not a short-term play, so much needs to be done to make this happen that the time for action is now.
“We’ve got the offshore wind, we’ve got the deep-water harbour in the Shannon Estuary that is essential for the wind-turbine and related materials supply-chain but we need major investment in infrastructure to make this happen. That investment must start immediately and a key element is having a fit-for-purpose road and rail infrastructure.”
Ms Ryan said that the reinstatement of the rail link has moved to the tender stage, but this will only be a partial solution. “Having the road network to support the supply chain is the most essential aspect of required connecting infrastructure. The current N69 Foynes to Limerick Road is wholly inadequate so this new road must be not alone treated as a priority in terms of the enabling infrastructure for realising the opportunity for the Shannon Estuary but a national priority.”
Ms Ryan continued: “We’ve got our own climate change targets that we look like falling short of in the near term. However, in the medium to long term, we can not alone catch up but become a world leader in renewable energy. Europe is looking for short-term and longer-term answers to climate change and energy security and the Shannon Estuary and the west coast can most definitely be the former.
“This an all- Ireland opportunity where we have the potential as a State to step forward with a key part of the solution needed to two of the biggest questions facing society today. So, let today’s announcement of planning for the road be the moment when we pick up the pace and begin delivering on that opportunity. Therefore, we are calling for this road to be fast-tracked and a concentrated focus be put on what else is needed so that we do not allow this unprecedented opportunity to pass us by.”
Ms Ryan, who complimented Limerick City and County Council and the Mid-West Road office on its exhaustive work on the project, said that the Foynes to Limerick Road will also be a significant piece of tourism infrastructure, not least for the hosting of the Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in 2027.
“Limerick’s Adare Manor secured the event expected to attract 300,000 visitors over a two-week period in September of that year, providing Limerick and the Mid-West region with a huge opportunity to showcase our regional tourism and investment product to the world.
“This is a second key reason why the project must be accelerated as it will be crucial to logistical planning for this event and will deliver improved capacity to serve the connectivity requirements of the tourism industry in the Mid-West and South-West Region going forward.
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