The relief road will run alongside the new Lidl store , over the River Suir and onto the Mill Road.
The announcement will be made this afternoon and will pave the way for a second river crossing in Thurles
The much anticipated inner relief road for Thurles which will link Clongour with the Mill Road, including a bridge over the River Suir, has been given the green light following the publication of the National Development Plan today - the road is part of the €165billion infrastructural budget provided in the NDP.
The inner relief road will link the Slievenamon Road/Clongour at the new Lidl store to the Mill Road. It will allow vast quantities of traffic to avoid what will be the newly-aligned Liberty Square and take huge amounts of vehicles out of the centre of the town, especially at peak times during the day. It will also provide many new developmental opportunities for Mary Immaculate College on the St Patrick’s campus.
This project has been in the pipeline for many years and hit a number of stumbling blocks along the way - the major one being the challenge of getting a commitment from the powers-that-be at national level to include it on an infrastructural programme. Now that this has been achieved it will be full steam ahead.
The news has been welcomed by Thurles based Deputies Michael Lowry (Independent) and Jackie Cahill (FF) who both described the development as being hugely significant.
"The development of the Inner Relief Road formed part of the conditions in the granting of planning permission for the new Lidl Store. The first section of the road was built when construction of the store was taking place. The final stage has been delayed due to outstanding issues regarding the procurement of a section of land. I have encouraged the CEO of Tipperary County Council to finalise outstanding matters to enable the project to be completed," said Deputy Lowry.
"The provision of this road would reduce traffic congestion in the town and facilitate the future development of Thurles as a whole by providing a link from Slievenamon Road to Mill Road. The funds are now available to build a bridge and to complete the carriageway," Deputy Lowry, pictured above, added.
And, Deputy Jackie Cahill pointed to the significance of the announcement for MIC St Patrick's College, Thurles saying that it will help to transform the campus.
“There are many acres of space at the back of St Patrick’s campus that are prime for development. I have been working with senior Mary Immaculate College management to secure funding for the development of the campus and provision of new courses there also. Part of these major plans would see an entirely new entrance for St Pat’s being developed from the new inner relief road. This is something that I stressed strongly with Minister Simon Harris when I hosted him in St Patrick’s campus during the summer, with senior Mary Immaculate management.
Deputy Jackie Cahill
“As Tipperary’s only Government TD, I am delighted to welcome this funding for Thurles, and I would like to thank local Cllr Seamus Hanafin, Minister Michael McGrath and his officials, and county management for working with me so closely on this over the last number of years. I know that securing this funding was a top priority for Cllr Hanafin too and comes as very welcome news for all of Thurles and surrounding areas” Cahill concluded.
“I entered government over a year ago to do my absolute best for my constituency and to deliver for Tipperary. I’ve met with Minister Michael McGrath, county management, and senior officials on many occasions to push for key projects to be included in the National Development Plan, so that we could get the funding we need to deliver essential infrastructure projects for the county.
“When I first entered politics in 2014, I made it clear that one of my absolute priorities was seriously tackling the traffic congestion issues in my hometown of Thurles. Just last week I spoke once again in the Dáil on the need to secure this funding, in one final attempt to remind Minister McGrath, on the Dáil record, that this was a priority for me. I am also pleased to learn that there is additional funding in the NDP for road infrastructure projects that the local authority would like to prioritise. The inner relief road is the first in a number of steps to solving Thurles’ traffic issues once and for all. The other is the Thurles town bypass. I will continue to work just as hard on that project to push Tipperary County Council to draw down funding under this section of the NDP for the Thurles bypass," Deputy Cahill said.
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