Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced €100 million worth of funding for new road safety and upgrading projects at locations across the country in 2012.
Minister Varadkar said he was very happy to be able to make the announcement at a time when funding is so constrained. “This funding will be used to improve safety at major black-spots, such as removing bad bends or hazardous conditions. In a number of cases the funding will be used to remove bottlenecks and tackle congestion. Given that Exchequer funding is currently so limited, my main priority this year is to maintain roads and prioritise safety projects, followed by road improvements, and finally by new projects.”
The works will be conducted under the NRA’s Work Programme for 2012 and are set to support work levels equivalent to around 1,200 jobs. Work will start on around 30 of these schemes this year, selected by the NRA. A further 30 projects will be brought through the planning process, with construction starting if and when funding permits.
Meanwhile, hundreds of other small-scale projects will start this year involving new road surfaces, minor safety works and improved signage. Some €18 million has been allocated to small-scale safety schemes, with another €18 million allocated for remedial works on bridges.
Construction has started on the following projects and will continue this year:
· N3 Belturbet Bypass, Co. Cavan;
· N4 Downs Grade Separation, Co. Westmeath;
· N5 Longford Bypass, Co. Longford;
· N22/N69 Tralee Bypass;
· N25 Cork South Ring Road Grade Separation, Cork City Council;
· N52 Carrickbridge to Dalystown, Co. Westmeath.
Separately, construction is expected to start on the following projects in 2012:
· N5 Ballaghaderreen Bypass, Co. Roscommon;
· N7 Newlands Cross upgrade, South Dublin;
· N11 Arklow to Rathnew, Co. Wicklow.
NRA CEO Fred Barry said: ‘We are delighted that even during these constrained times we will be able to carry out essential local improvements and tackle some of the worst safety challenges on the legacy road network’.
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