M7 motorway set to be widened to three lanes at Naas

Traffic blackspot south to be given €120 million upgrade, Taoiseach announces


Traffic congestion on the M7 in Co Kildare is set to be eased with a €120 million, three phase upgrade to the State’s second busiest motorway.

The contract to widen the existing M7 motorway from two lanes to three lanes in both directions has been awarded to SIAC/Colas JV, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced yesterday

The widening will take place for a distance of about 14km, between Junction 9 Naas North, at Maudlins - site of the Perpetual Motion Ball – and the M7/M9 interchange at Junction 11.

The contract will also involve replacing and relocating the existing ramps at Junction 10 Naas South Newhall to the main Naas Newbridge dual carriageway, the R445.

Also included is a new interchange at Osberstown between junctions 9 and 10 which will be designated Junction 9a.

In addition, the project provides for a new Sallins bypass which includes approximately 1.7kilometres of dual carriageway and two kilometres of single carriageway, together with a 1.2kilometre single carriageway link road from the Bypass to Sallins town centre.

The area has featured significant traffic congestion in recent years as lands were developed wither side of the M7. Lengthy delays are a feature of travel on the M7, particular south of the Naas north junction.

The construction work will include six new structures, including two bridges over the river Liffey, a bridge over the Grand Canal, the new Osberstown Interchange bridge over the M7 motorway and a minor road bridge carrying Osberstown Road over the Sallins bypass. The Sallins bypass bridge under the main Dublin Cork railway line will be constructed by Irish Rail under a separate but parallel contract.

The full scheme is to be completed by 2020.

However motorists may expect some traffic restrictions and delays as traffic management measures are put in place from junction 9 Naas North to junction 11 M7/M9 at various phases over the next two to three years.

A feature of the scheme will be the maintenance of two lanes of traffic between 6am and 10pm each day. An emergency lane will be available through the works at all times.

Welcoming the announcement on Thursday Mr Varadkar said he was “thrilled that work will start soon”. He said the route was “vital” for commuters and freight transport. He recalled as minister for transport he had overseen the Newlands Cross fly-over “which removed the last traffic light between Cork and Belfast”.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said he was “ delighted” He said the contract represented “ the first of the major road upgrade projects included in the “Building on Recovery” Capital Investment Plan to go to construction”.