New Longford bypass opens to traffic
The only national road project due to be completed this year, the N5 bypass of Longford town, is to open this morning.
Combined with the existing N4 bypass of Longford town, the new road will take Dublin to Mayo traffic on a semi-circular route to the north of the midlands town.
The new route is expected to cut up to 20 minutes off the journey from Dublin to Mayo.
It is also expected to ease significantly traffic congestion in the town, and is being opened in time for the bank holiday weekend.
The €26 million single-carriageway road deviates from the existing N4 Dublin to Sligo route at Moneylagan. It travels southwest and south to link in with the existing Longford to Tarmonbarry stretch of the N5 at Ballyminion.
The scheme, which was completed two months ahead of schedule, includes two bridges spanning the Camlin river and the Dublin-Sligo railway line. The contractor was Wills Bros.
Air quality and road safety in Longford town are expected to be improved as a result of the removal of traffic.
The bypass is one of several schemes to improve access between Dublin and Roscommon and Mayo. The N5 Ballaghaderreen bypass is scheduled to commence at the end of this year.
Work is also ongoing on the Longford to Dublin stretch of the route at The Downs on the N4, where overhead crossings are being installed.
Longford was originally bypassed on the Dublin to Sligo route in June 1995 by a single carriageway road incorporating three roundabouts to the east and north of the town. The National Roads Authority said the ultimate plan for the bypasses was to form a ring road around the town.
Welcoming the opening of the new route, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the bypass would “dramatically” improve the town environment as well as removing a significant bottleneck which would free Longford town from gridlock, making the town more attractive for commerce.
“More importantly, the bypass will also result in enhanced safety benefits by the provision of a safer section of route,” he said.
The National Roads Authority is currently building:
- The N3 Belturbet bypass, a 6.7km single-carriageway road expected to be completed in 2013.
- The N4 Downs grade separation, providing overhead crossings on 5.5km of dual carriageway. It is expected to be completed in 2013.
- The N22/N69 Tralee bypass – 8km dual carriageway and 5.5km single carriageway to be finished next year.
- The N25 Cork southern ring road – two junction upgrades, 3.3km of dual carriageway and side roads to be completed in 2013.
- The N52 Carrickbridge to Dalystown road in Westmeath which includes 7.3km of single carriageway road.