Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, has announced details of a €597 million investment programme for 2022 for regional and local roads. Overall funding will increase by over 4% this year. The funding package will allow approximately 3,100kms of roads to be maintained and 2,550kms to be strengthened.
Minister Ryan stated, “the main priority in 2022 continues to be the protection and renewal of the existing regional and local road network. Last year I introduced a climate change adaptation grant for works on roads at risk due to the impact of climate change and severe weather events. I am pleased to say that this funding will continue in 2022 with €15 million being allocated for 355 climate change adaptation projects.”
Minister Ryan also added, “specific provision of €4 million has been made to assist Wexford County Council with road repair works arising from the flooding event that occurred in Wexford on Christmas Day.”
Minister of State Naughton commented, “this year we will spend over €26 million more than last year on our local and regional roads, demonstrating Government’s commitment to ensure a strong, safe and sustainable roads network. I am particularly happy to see continued investment of some €55 million, and good progress, on new strategic regional and local roads projects right across the country. Separately, €12 million is being allocated to road safety schemes that target remedial measures to improve road safety for vulnerable road users and vehicular traffic. This funding will allow in excess of 300 safety projects to be carried out. This also includes provision for funding to continue a signage programme which includes signage to support lower speed limits in housing areas, rural speed limit signage and a “safe passing” cycle sign.”
Minister Ryan also confirmed that a new two year work programme under the Community Involvement Scheme is starting this year with €15 million being allocated to the Scheme in 2022.
Funding of €16 million is being allocated for 350 bridge rehabilitation schemes to be progressed. Bridge rehabilitation work is consistently required to maintain and renew an old bridge stock which is made up of approximately 80% masonry arch structures.
Provision has been made for a limited programme of strategic road improvement projects. 12 regional and local road improvement projects were identified for development, subject to necessary approvals, in the original 2018-2027 National Development Plan. Six of these projects have been completed and construction will be underway in 2022 on a further four.
The main features of the investment programme include:
• €282m for road pavement strengthening works
• €75m for preventative surface dressing work
• €84m for maintenance and strengthening works for which Local Authorities have discretion in the selection of roads
• €55m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects
• €16m for Bridge Rehabilitation works
• €12m for Safety Improvement works
• €20m for Drainage works
• €15m for Community Involvement Schemes
• €15m for Climate Change Adaptation/Resilience Works
• €14m approx. of miscellaneous grants including, training, salt purchase, velocity patching machines together with a number of pilot schemes
Minister Ryan noted, “I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities’ own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”