M7 upgrade: Speed restrictions to be lifted on new three-lane carriageway

Road-widening scheme at Naas to be finished by mid-February, after multiple delays

Works on sections of the   M7 upgrade are ongoing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Works on sections of the M7 upgrade are ongoing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Speed restrictions on the new three-lane carriageway on the M7 motorway in Co Kildare will be lifted in mid February, according to the latest project update from Kildare County Council.

The M7 Naas widening scheme was originally due to have been completed last April, with the Sallins bypass and Osberstown interchange due to be completed later this year.

Kildare County Council said last August that the the M7 elements of the work would be delayed until Christmas.

But in the latest update issued on Tuesday, the council said the works would now be completed by mid- February.

The announcement means the temporary 80 km/h speed limit remains in place on the M7.

Final works on the M7 include drainage at Junction 10 Newhall and at a number of verge locations at Newhall and Lewistown.

The council said “pending completion of these works, and in the interests of both worker and public safety, the temporary 80 km/h speed limit is being maintained.”

The council said, however, that traffic on the M7 would not be able to use the new interchange at Osberstown to access Naas until the Sallins bypass opens.

All three lanes of the upgraded M7 are currently operating at a reduced speed limit of 80km/h from junction eight Johnstown to the M7/M9 interchange at junction 11.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said the M7 remains an “active construction site”.

Construction began on widening a 13.5km stretch of the M7 in January of 2018. It was originally anticipated by the contractors SIAC and Colas that all three lanes would be in operation in both directions by last April.

Figures from TII show 14,500 speeding fines have been issued along the road over a period of about 18 months to last August.

Local District Court Judge Desmond Zaidan and the Courts Service have both raised concerns over how to deal with the increase in cases arising from the speed checks.

The M7 is used by some 78,000 vehicles per day.

The upgrade project also involved the replacement and relocation of the existing ramps at Junction 10 Naas South Newhall to the main Naas Newbridge dual carriageway, the construction of a new interchange at Osberstown and a new Sallins bypass.