An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, and Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring announced today the Government’s approval to allow Mayo County Council, under the direction of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), to award the main construction contract for the N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project.
This project was identified for progression under Project Ireland 2040, comprising the National Planning Framework (NPF), which outlines the spatial strategy for the Country to 2040 and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018 – 2027.
This is a major boost for County Mayo and will provide many benefits for the region such as:-
- Improved road safety and will realise a reduction in collisions;
- Increase transport efficiency through a reduction in journey times over the length of the scheme;
- Enhance the environmental quality of the towns of Westport and Castlebar by removing through traffic; and
- provide a corridor of transport infrastructure that will encourage and support existing investment and employment in County Mayo.
This is a significant investment package of €241 million. When complete this project will enhance safety for all road users in the region. It will also contribute greatly to the quality of life of those who live in the North West region of rural Ireland.
A better, safer road network leads to improvements in employment, education, healthcare and social cohesion – as well as saving lives. This infrastructure will also provide greater access for tourism in the region, in particular for the town of Westport. All these benefits will lead to greater regional and local connectivity and accessibility to the North West Region of the Country.
The Taoiseach said:
This Government is linking our towns and cities and investing in rural and urban areas to ensure we have more balanced regional development. We are bringing Ireland closer together by investing in roads and broadband thereby reducing disparities between east and west, rural and urban areas, Dublin and the rest of the country. We have now given the go-ahead for the largest investment of public money in Co. Mayo in the history of the State, and one of the biggest road projects in the Connaught region. It will improve road safety, cut journey times, and reduce congestion in Westport and Castlebar. This road is an important element of Project Ireland 2040 and will boost the local economy during construction and when it’s open. I particularly want to acknowledge the role of former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD for ensuring this project progressed through planning and design when I was Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport.
Minister Ross said:
Today the Government has approved this very important and worthwhile Scheme for County Mayo. I welcome the benefits that it will provide for rural communities in the North West region.
Rural connectivity and rural transport have been an important focus for me and my department in an effort to open the country up. Ireland does not just consist of cities- it also consists of very vibrant towns and villages which need to be connected to maximise its full potential.
Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring said:
Good quality roads have a real impact on people’s day to day lives and their safety. This new road will result in safer and less time consuming journeys as well as cleaner air and significantly less traffic in the towns of Westport and Castlebar. On a strategic level, it will encourage investment, support employment and greatly enhance connectivity in the region. By improving our rural infrastructure and transport links we are working to make rural Ireland an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Michael Nolan, CEO of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) stated:
This is a very welcome announcement and TII looks forward to working with Mayo County Council to deliver this project for the North West Region of the Country.
The current route comprises a single carriageway with various deficiencies including poor alignment, frequent junctions and traffic congestion, resulting in numerous collisions and a poor safety record. The capacity of the existing infrastructure is not sufficient to meet the demands of the volume of long distance traffic from the east of the country to Castlebar and Westport, as well as significant regional inter-urban traffic between these two towns.
The proposed road development involves the construction of 20.3 km of dual carriageway from Westport to east of Castlebar and a 2.5 km single carriageway link to the N59 Westport to Mulranny national secondary road.
The scheme also includes the following:
- 2.3 km upgrade of a section of the N59 at Barleyhill to Type 3 single carriageway standard;
- 2 compact grade separated junctions including overbridges;
- 6 roundabouts;
- 2 rail bridges over the Westport to Dublin railway line;
- 11 overbridges, 2 underbridges and 7 farm underpasses;
- Associated earthworks, diversion of services and realignment of existing roads;
- Construction of accommodation tracks and ancillary works;
- Excavation of peat & unacceptable material, excavation of rock and disposal & recovery of unacceptable material;
- Drainage works, landscaping and ancillary works.