Plans approved for €500 million Foynes to Limerick Road

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Traffic building up on the existing N21 outside Adare

AN Bord Pleanála has approved plans for the Foynes to Limerick road, which includes the long-promised Adare bypass and a 17 kilometre extension to the existing motorway at Patrickswell.

The decision from the planning appeals board was confirmed this morning by Mid West National Road Design Office administrator Mairead O’Donovan who informed Limerick’s Oireachtas members that they would continue to work with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to progress the scheme.

The proposed €500 million road project connecting the Port of Foynes to the national road network will involve the construction of five large bridges, including a 200 metre bridge at Adare over the River Maigue which is designated as part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

It comprises 15.6km of Type 2 dual carriageway from Foynes to Rathkeale, 1.9km of single carriageway road from Ballyclogh towards Askeaton and 17.5km of motorway standard dual carriageway from Rathkeale to Attyflin outside Patrickswell.

Junctions will be provided at Foynes, Ballyclogh, Askeaton, Rathkeale, Croagh and Adare, with a heavy goods vehicle service area also being provided at the Foynes terminus.

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According to Limerick City and County Council, the scheme will greatly improve connectivity within County Limerick and the wider Mid-West Region, boosting competitiveness for inward investment and supporting the ongoing development of the tourism sector in the area.

Limerick City and County Council lodged a planning application, which included an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Natura Impact Statement and Compulsory Purchase Order with An Bord Pleanála in December 2019

The application met with a number of objections, mainly from property owners and, following a request from An Bord Pleanála, further information was submitted in December 2020.

A virtual oral hearing was held in February 2021, and a decision was delayed on several occasions, sparking widespread criticism of the planning appeals board.