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03 Dec 2021

National Development Plan names Ardee bypass as project that requires further approval

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan namechecked the project during a press conference yesterday

Louth County Council announce temporary closure of Ardee roads

Louth County Council announce temporary closure of Ardee roads

The N52 Ardee Bypass is set for further approval following the announcement of the updated National Development Plan (NDP) by the government yesterday.

The bypass, which was namechecked by Minister Eamon Ryan as one of the projects that were important to reduce congestion in towns, would see a road being built throught Ardee Bog.

Speaking at the launch of the NDP, Minister Ryan said that a substantial amount of the investment into roads will go into bypasses.

“The key one in new roads is also the bypasses we will deliver, which helps this compact development,” said Minister Ryan.

“Bypasses in Listowel, in Ardee, in Tipperary town.”

The Minister said that bypasses will be a significant factor in developing the 15-minute town.

Fianna Fáil Cllr, John Sheridan, welcomed the commitments to the Ardee bypass within the NDP, saying that it is a “huge vote of confidence” for the future of the bypass.

“The project has had many many delays in recent years. Its the people of Ardee who suffer from the thousands of trucks and heavy goods vehicles coming through the town centre daily,” said Cllr Sheridan.

“I really welcome Minister Eamon Ryan naming Ardee specifically today at the launch. He said that Ardee would become a 15-minute town where residents can get around the town consistently and safely in 15 minutes.

“While any project has environmental impacts, developing Ardee as a 15-minute town actually promotes compact, sensible growth. The environmental and other impacts of not building the Ardee bypass would bring their own challenges in terms of ongoing congestion.”

There has been opposition to the proposed Ardee bypass from environmental activists from the town, with a protest taking place outside the Dáil over concerns around damaging the ecosystem of Ardee Bog last month.

Friends of Ardee Bog delivered a petition against the road to Green Party Minister Malcolm Noonan.

They have said that they are concerned about the native curlew population being potentially eradicated with the constriction of the bypass.

Minister Ryan told the Dáil last month, that he expects the tender for the project to be set in late 2022, with construction to be completed in 2025.

The project itself has so far cost €8.1 million, according to Minister Ryan.

As well as the N52 bypass, the N2 Ardee to South of Castleblayney was also highlighted within the NDP, saying that the projects are subject to further approval after being included in the previous NDP.

Alongside projects in Ardee, Louth is set to benefit from other proposed developments within the NDP, including an upgrade of the north and south buildings within Dundalk Institute of Technology.

The plan also affirms the government's commitment to the Narrow Water Bridge project in Cooley, saying that funding will be provided to progress the project to tender stage.

Fianna Fáil Senator, Erin McGreehan, has welcomed the plan, but says she is disappointed by the omission of the Northern Port Access Route in Drogheda.

“One glaring omission for me and for the people of Co. Louth and Drogheda is the fact that the Northern Port Access Route is not included in the plan,” said Senator McGreehan.

“I have been advocating for this project and I cannot explain how disappointed I am about this road not being included.”

The plan itself is set to cost €165 billion between now and 2040.

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