FUNDING of €20 million has been made available for the long awaited Ardee Bypass Project, according to Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd.
"The funding has been secured for this vital infrastructural project following TII's announcement today that it has approved road safety schemes to a value of over € 136m," said Mr O'Dowd.
“My colleague Councillor Dolores Minogue and I have been working extremely hard to deliver this project over the last three years and I’m delighted that we have helped get the project to the start line, we must continue to prioritise this issue until we see the project completed.”
He added: “The Ardee Bypass is a vital infrastructure project for the people of Ardee and Mid Louth, traffic congestion in particular has become unbearable in the town itself, having a major impact on the traders of the town.
“The Bypass will finally give the town the opportunity to reach its potential; in particular it will rid the town of the unwanted congestion and HGV traffic that has plighted trade in the town over the last number of years."
Mr O'Dowd continued: “Recently I canvassed the Town Traders alongside my colleague Cllr Minogue and this is quite clearly one of the major hindrances to trade in the town. Many people avoid the town completely as they don’t want to sit in traffic for 15-20 mins to visit a local store.
“The people of Ardee have felt forgotten on this issue in many ways, I have consistently re-affirmed my commitment to delivering results alongside my party colleagues, Cllr Minogue has worked tirelessly on this project and has left the Minister, the TII and the Louth County Council in no uncertain terms to the importance of the project to the residents of Ardee."
The proposed bypass scheme is approximately 4.5km in length, running from Mandistown in County Meath to a new junction with the N2 just north of Ardee, providing a western bypass of the town and removing N52 through traffic.
The proposed scheme will be a single carriageway and include six road junctions and two bridge structures, spanning the River Dee and the Garra river.
Cllr Minogue said: "I'm delighted that we have finally secured the Ardee Bypass for the people of Ardee and Mid Louth. We have been campaigning for years now to increase transport capacity in the area and improve road and pedestrian safety.
“This project will go a long way to delivering a better quality of life for Ardee Residents by removing unnecessary congestion, noise and pollutants form the town centre.
"The town also has the chance now to go from strength to strength by making it a much more desirable location for people to shop and spend.”