Public consultation is underway with up to 565 owners of homes, businesses and farms along the preferred route corridor for the proposed new N24 upgrade project between Limerick Junction and Cahir that was unveiled on Monday.
Since it was revealed, local councillors have been inundated with calls from constituents with properties and businesses along the route corridor that includes bypasses of Tipperary Town, Oola, Monard, Limerick Junction and Bansha.
Tipperary County Council’s Director of Services for Roads, Marcus O’Connor, said the narrowing down of the route selection process from four corridor options with another six variations to one preferred route corridor has freed up 60% of the land previously sterilised for planning development while it was under consideration for this road project.
The 37km preferred route corridor running from west of Brooks Bridge in county Limerick to the M8 junction at Cloghabreedy, Cahir was first unveiled to Tipperary and Limerick public representatives at an online briefing session early on Monday morning.
Maps and information on the preferred route corridor were then posted on the N24 Cahir to Limerick Junction project website: www.n24cahirlimerick.ie at 11am that day for members of the public.
Letters were sent to 565 property owners to inform them they owned property along the preferred route corridor and inviting them to engage with a three-week long public consultation process that began on Tuesday.
The project team that has worked on the route selection process over the past year hosted an “in-person” public consultation event at the Great National Ballykisteen Golf Hotel between 1pm and 8pm on Tuesday, May 24.
The event featured displays of the maps and information boards about the preferred road corridor and members of the N24 project team were on hand to answer questions and discuss the public’s concerns.
Another public consultation event will take place at the hotel this Thursday, May 26 from 1pm to 8pm.
The public display information boards and maps about the route corridor will be available to view at Tipperary/Cahir/Cashel Municipal District Offices at Rosanna Road, Tipperary, Cahir Library, and Cappamore Library in county Limerick from Friday, May 27 until Friday, June 17.
The preferred option corridor commences at Knockballyfookeen west of Brooks Bridge. It progresses off-line in a south easterly direction, south of the existing N24 to Shanaclough West, at which point it reconnects with the existing N24 and continues south to Bohercrow. From here it deviates from the existing N24 and bypasses Tipperary Town to the north east of the town to connect with the N74 to the east of the town.
From the N74, the preferred option corridor continues southeast to Dromline and continues further south east to Templenahurney. There is a link road at this point that provides a connection to Bansha.
The preferred corridor ties into the existing N24 at Cloghabreedy Roundabout at Junction 10 of the M8.
Mr O’Connor encouraged the owners of properties along the preferred route corridor to engage with the N24 project team, either in person or by arranging online or telephone meetings.
As well as the public consultation events, said members of the public can make an appointment to meet privately with a member of the project team and raise any concerns they have.
“If they feel the route should be pushed here or there or some screening might by required now is the time to talk to these people about that,” he said.
Mr O’Connor stressed the preferred route corridor is 300m wide but the eventual N24 route will be only about 30-40m wide, so if you own property within the corridor it may not be directly impacted by the eventual route selected.
Once the current public consultation process is complete, he said work will start on the detailed design of the proposed N24 upgrade route between Limerick Junction and Cahir as well as on the environmental impact studies for the project.
He estimates the planning application for the finalised route will be ready to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála towards the end of next year. Tipperary Town’s Cllr Annemarie Ryan was among the local councillors fielding calls from constituents impacted by the preferred route corridor following its unveiling on Monday.
She said she was delighted to see progress on the N24 upgrade project and the bypasses included in the preferred route corridor for her hometown as well as Oola, Monard, Limerick Junction and Bansha.
Cllr Ryan said the selection of this preferred corridor gave hope to those in Tipperary Town who have long campaigned for a bypass to alleviate the traffic congestion in the town centre. However, she stressed she completely understood the nervousness and concerns of property owners impacted by this route corridor but noted that not all will face having property compulsory purchased.
Cllr Ryan confessed she was “slightly nervous” over the way the route corridor impacts on Tipperary Town’s Rossmore Village housing estate.
The Independent councillor said public representatives and the public now need to take a bit of time to study the route corridor and its implications.
Tipperary/Cahir/Cashel Municipal District Chairperson, Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan, reported receiving a lot of phone calls on Monday from people affected by the preferred route corridor. Her initial impression from the online briefing she attended on Monday was that the preferred route broadly followed an older version of the proposed N24 upgrade drawn up years ago.
She welcomed the opportunity for councillors to attend an in-person briefing about the project at Ballykisteen Hotel on Tuesday to get a clearer picture of the route corridor.
The Fine Gael councillor said there will be a lot of consultation with property owners over the next few months to tweak the proposed route and iron out details and issues.
“There will be winners and losers,” she added.
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