The bends at Latteragh that are due to be realigned
Tipperary County Council has a number of major road projects which it hopes to progress in the new year and towards the end of 2022.
One of the largest projects in the State, the Ballina / Killaloe bypass and new bridge over the River Shannon is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022.
The €60m project will see a major upgrade of the Birdhill to Ballina road, a new bridge and a bypass of Killaloe that will take motorists away from the town and back on to the Ogonnelloe road.
A minor works contract for site clearance and laying a section of sewer is substantially complete.
It is anticipated that the main contract will be awarded before the end of 2021, and, subject to Department of Transport approval, the works will commence in 2022. The scheme will take approximately three years to complete.
Clare County Clouncil, who are the lead local authority on the project, received €4m to to progress this scheme in 2021.
The council also hopes to substantially progress the realignment of the Thurles to Nenagh road at Latteragh by removing the bends and creating a new roadway.
Tender documents for the estimated €14m have been prepared for the appointment of a consultant to carry out the detailed design, procurement and supervision of the works contract.
The council has now received comments on the tender documentation from the Department of Transport and expects that, following a tender competition, a consultant will be appointed in the first quarter of 2022.
The consultant is expected to have the tender documentation prepared by mid-year so that a works contractor can be appointed by quarter three 2022 and, subject to final approval and Department funding, begin work on site before the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, the council is to seek approval from Transport Infrastructure Ireland to appoint a consultant to continue with
the preliminary design for strengthening on the N65 between Carrigahorrig and Balleiragh bridge.
The section has been raised many times at council level by councillors due to the often long term closure of the road caused by flooding when Lough Derg water levels rise.
However, the council cannot carry out physical works to raise the road level at present due to a number of significant constraints and engineering challenges in determining a suitable solution / road scheme to prevent the road from flooding.
The main issue is there are two Natura 2000 sites (Lough Derg, North-east Shore SAC and Lough Derg (Shannon) SPA) located immediately adjacent to the proposed project. Natura 2000 sites are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the Habitats Directive and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the Conservation of Wild Birds Directive (79 / 409 / EEC).
The road in this location is also built on soft, peaty ground.
On the basis of its proximity to the two Natura 2000 sites any significant works to raise the road level at this location requires planning consent from An Bord Pleanála.
Preparations for a planning submission to An Bord Pleanála are underway and due to the significant environmental and ecological sensitivities several studies have been conducted and completed to date by the council to determine flood risk, ecological, environmental and other impacts / constraints and also an initial assessment of ground conditions has been completed.
Once planning consent is obtained, the council will complete the detailed design process.
A ground investigation has been completed and the scheme has been formally categorised as a Minor Improvement Scheme.
In Carrigahorrig village itself, the feasibility work has been completed on its pavement improvement scheme.
The preliminary design stage has commenced and land acquisition for footpath widening and extension works for footpath widening and extension works is underway.
Subject to land acquisition it is expected that preliminary design work will be completed and the Part 8 for the scheme will be advertised in 2022.
The scheme consists of: road pavement improvement works; addressing a number of road safety issues; the renewal and widening of footpaths in the village; the extension of footpaths to the speed limit on the Portumna side and to the R493 Terryglass road on the Borrisokane side of the village; public lighting improvements and some public realm improvements.
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