‘New road’ hopes
2013 COULD BE LUCKY FOR COUNTY WICKLOW
2013 could turn out to be lucky for Wicklow after Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said one of his priorities for 2013 is to see the start of the N11 upgrade between Rathnew and Arklow.
Last week Minister Varadkar set out his priorities for the year ahead including the start of work on the cross-city Luas line, a resumed private-finance roads programme, a fully-independent Shannon Airport, and a successful outcome for The Gathering Ireland.
The resumption of the PPP roads programme would see works commence on the N7 (Newlands Cross), N11 (Rathnew) and N17/18 (Gort-Tuam) projects.
‘2013 is going to be a busy, interesting and exciting year in Transport, Tourism & Sport. Ireland assumes the presidency of the European Council and hosts The Gathering Ireland 2013.
It will also see work starting on the crosscity Luas project, and the establishment of an independent Shannon NewCo, bringing together the airport and Shannon Development,’ Minister Varadkar said.
Last month the European Investment Bank pledged support for the N11 upgrade coupled with a heights separated junction at Newlands Cross, Co. Dublin and a new start of April 2013 was given.
The upgrade will see the 16.5km section of roadway between Arklow and Rathnew upgraded to four lanes improving both road safety and travel times.
In December, European Investment Bank vice-president Mihai Tanasescu indicated the bank hoped to finalise ‘a bid' for the N11 project, to be built by way of public private partnership (PPP), by the beginning of Feb- ruary.
The public private partnership was, according to Construction Information Services, due to start construction in May 2011 with an end date of May 2013.
However, the entire project has been beset by delays mainly thought to result from funding and contractual difficulties.
In February last year the ESB carried out realignment works on the high voltage transmission line at Ballyvaltron and Kil- murray.
The works were preparatory works necessary before construction could begin.
The project is expected to cost in the region of €180 million and will also include a service station at Ballyellen in Gorey.
If a start day of April 2013 is achieved the works are expected to be completed in April 2015 as there is a 24 month completion period. The upgrade will remove one of the most dangerous sections of the existing N11.
The section of the N11 that is due to be bypassed has witnessed many accidents.