The N22 Cork- Kerry Road
The Cabinet has given the green light for a €280m upgrade of the N22 Cork-Kerry road, including the long-awaited Macroom bypass.
The vast road project, which has been sought for more than 20 years, includes the construction of 22km of new dual carriageway from Coolcower, east of Macroom, to include a northern bypass of Macroom town itself, with the new dual carriageway continuing west to tie into the existing N22 close to the Cork-Kerry boundary.
The Cabinet agreed earlier this week to give approval to Cork County Council to award the contract for the scheme which has been designed to improve road safety and journey times between the two counties.
Michael Creed, the minister for agriculture, food and the marine and a Cork North West TD who has campaigned for the project for years, said its approval is a matter of “great personal satisfaction” for him.
“After decades of promises and false dawns, the way is now clear to begin the construction of this vital piece of infrastructure for the region,” he said.
“Having campaigned throughout my political career for the development of this project, I am immensely proud to be in a position in Cabinet, to finally see this scheme through to construction and to deliver the largest level of investment ever seen to the area.”
He was speaking after the decision was announced tonight.
It is the second massive road project sanctioned by the Cabinet this week and follows the approval of the €241m 20.3km dual carriageway project from Westport to Turlough in Co Mayo.
It comes eight years after An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the scheme. Planning documents, which are now almost a decade old, predicted that by 2027, the new bypass would handle around 11,200 vehicles a day to the west of Macroom, and between 9,500 and 11,500 vehicles per day on the bypassed section in Macroom.
Mr Creed said it will deliver many benefits to the area, including increased road safety, reduced journey times, enhanced connectivity and the removal of congestion from Macroom town.
“This should all help to enhance the economic and social prospects of the town and its hinterland,” he said.
The road will be built through challenging terrain which varies from hilly, remote land with rock outcrops at the western end, to low-lying pasture lands to the east of Macroom, and will include about 18 under or over road bridges.
It will cross a land-locked section of the Inniscarra reservoir to the south-east of the town.
Engineers have spent the last two years on a range of preparatory works to prime the route corridor for construction, including extensive ground investigation works, archaeological excavations and the removal and relocation of high-voltage overhead power lines.
Once construction work starts, it is expected it will take three-and-a-half years to complete.
But it is understood that the Macroom bypass section will be built and opened before the western section is completed.
This Article was originally seen at https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/macroom-bypass-gets-go-ahead-in-280m-upgrade-of-n22-957725.html