€294m Set Aside For Roads Investment

A €249m investment package for regional and local roads in Ireland has been unveiled by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD.

The investment will allow some 2,000km of the roads network to be maintained and strengthened in 2015.

The investment will allow for a number of important projects to go ahead, including increasing vehicle headroom under a railway bridge on an important access route to Galway city and also Galway Port; the rehabilitation of Clontarf Bridge, and the strategic Coonagh to Knockalisheen project, which will support the regeneration of the Moyross area in Limerick to proceed to construction.

In addition, Minister Donohoe has said there is provision for 175 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 211 low cost safety projects to be carried out, with "significant provision" also being made for footpaths this year, in the interest of public safety. These projects include €145m for maintenance, improvement and strengthening works; €41m for surface dressing and €62.5m for maintenance and strengthening works. €7.7m will go towards bridge rehabilitation works, €5.8m for Low Cost Safety Improvement Works and €11m of miscellaneous grants including, bridge inspections, training, maproad and road safety measures.

Commenting on the investment, Minister Donohoe said: "Ensuring the upkeep and maintenance of our road network is essential in facilitating our future economic growth and development and securing job creation.

"If people are prevented from going about their daily business or from getting to and from work in a timely fashion our economic activity will suffer. This allocation of €294m will allow restoration and improvement works to be carried out and a number of new construction projects to be carried out.

"The priority is to maintain the existing road network, and I have been able to protect funding for the key road maintenance and strengthening programmes for the local authorities, which continue to receive funding."

He concluded: "Local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to them under grant headings to decide on the work programme to be carried out in their area.

"It is also important to note that that these grants supplement local authorities' own resource expenditure on the regional and local road network and so do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year."


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