Slow progress on east to west route

DUN­DALK TO SLIGO ROUTE COULD BE UP­GRADED IN PHASES

The Argus - - NEWS - By OLIVIA RYAN

THE long awaited east to west link from Dun­dalk to Sligo may be com­pleted in sec­tions, rather than as a di­rect route, it emerged last week.

Speak­ing in the Dail Min­is­ter for Trans­port Shane Ross ex­plained that pro­pos­als to de­liver an ‘up­graded East-West route link­ing Dun­dalk to Sligo, tak­ing in Ca­van, in­volve link­ing el­e­ments of the na­tional road net­work and re­gional roads along as di­rect a route as pos­si­ble.’

He added that ‘es­sen­tially the route in­volves up­grade and re­align­ment works on the re­gional routes from Dun­dalk to Ca­van and on na­tional routes from Ca­van to Sligo.’

The Min­is­ter said ‘ the re­gional road as­pect of the pro­posal, the im­prove­ment and main­te­nance of re­gional and lo­cal roads in its area is a statu­tory func­tion of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 13 of the Roads Act.’

‘Works on such roads are a mat­ter for the rel­e­vant lo­cal au­thor­ity to be funded from its own re­sources sup­ple­mented by State road grants.’

He told the Dail that the Depart­ment pro­vided fund­ing to Ca­van County Coun­cil, which is acting as lead au­thor­ity with Mon­aghan and Louth County Coun­cils, with over €2 mil­lion in the pe­riod 20072014 to progress the re­gional road el­e­ment of the project to pre­lim­i­nary de­sign.

‘ This year I have given an al­lo­ca­tion of €25,000 to Ca­van County Coun­cil to en­able the Coun­cil to un­der­take a pre­lim- inary ap­praisal, in line with the cur­rent re­quire­ments in the pub­lic spend­ing code and the Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Frame­work, of the Ca­van to Dun­dalk sec­tion of the route.

‘ The aim of this ap­praisal would be to as­sess the ex­tent to which the scheme or el­e­ments of it can be jus­ti­fied in terms of ap­praisal and ad­vanced for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion in re­la­tion to schemes for de­vel­op­ment post 2021.’

He added that the plan­ning, de­sign and im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­di­vid­ual road projects is a mat­ter for Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land un­der the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in con­junc­tion with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties con­cerned.

The long awaited road up­grade was also raised at the re­cent monthly meet­ing of Louth County Coun­cil.

Coun­cil­lor Peter Sav­age asked about progress on the pro­posed Dun­dalk to Sligo west­ern link.

Ms. Martin con­firmed that it had not been in­cluded in Project Ire­land 2040.

She ad­mit­ted that ‘ trav­el­ling West from Dun­dalk is very dif­fi­cult I have to ad­mit.’

She added that it is eas­ier to travel to Dublin and then on­wards west, as op­posed to go­ing cross coun­try from Dun­dalk to Sligo.

Coun­cil­lors heard that there was a pos­si­bil­ity of a ‘piece meal’ ap­proach where the road would be up­graded in parts.

Cllr Peter Sav­age.

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