THE Department of Transport has given the green light to Clare County Council to award the contract for the planned Killaloe bypass to John Sisk & Sons Ltd, at a value of €43.7 million.
The Killaloe Bypass and Shannon River Crossing project has been mentioned in the public sphere for several years, with the completion of the project expected to see a 40 per cent reduction in congestion between the twin towns on the border of Tipperary and Clare.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to see this project now advance to its building phase,” said Clare Fianna Fáil Deputy Cathal Crowe.
“I served the Killaloe area as a councillor as far back as 2004 and I remember this being a constant headache for politicians and engineers, as we grappled with ways of moving traffic better around the towns of Killaloe and Ballina.
“There’s a constant bottleneck on the old bridge that links Killaloe and Ballina and even though a traffic light system has been installed in recent years, the problem has never gone away.
“The development of a bypass road, along with a new bridge crossing, will hugely alleviate traffic pressures that locals are all too familiar with and I’m very confident that better traffic management around the town will entice more visitors into Killaloe and the tourism sites on both sides of the water, in Clare and Tipperary.”
Deputy Crowe continued: “This is a project that I have championed in my 20 months as a TD for Clare but I think special credit is due to local councillor Tony O’Brien who has kept this constantly high on the political agenda.
“He and a litany of community activists and Clare County Council officials have never given up on the dream of having a bypass and new bridge crossing for Killaloe.
“I’m delighted that the government has funded this and after many false dawns it’ll now see the light of day.
“The fact that construction will commence before the end of March 2022 means that locals have something very much to look forward to in the early new year.”
The proposed scheme will provide a western bypass of Killaloe, a new bridge crossing of the River Shannon and an upgrade of the existing R494 regional road from Ballina to the N7 at Birdhill
The scheme is approximately 6.2km in length and will cross the River Shannon around 1km south of the existing Killaloe Bridge
It will include cycle lanes for the entire length of the scheme.