Minister Ross announces €417 million for regional and local roads

Monday 29 January 2018

 

Minister Ross announces €417 million for regional and local roads

 

Allocation will allow approx. 2300kms of road to be maintained (surface dressed) and 2100kms to be strengthened.

 

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, today announced details of a €417 million investment programme for 2018 for regional and local roads.

 

Minister Ross said: “I am very happy to be able to announce a significant and much needed increase in grant allocations for regional and local roads this year. Overall 2018 will see a funding increase of about 29%. While the funding in 2018 will largely continue to support the maintenance of our current regional road network, expenditure on road improvements projects is expected to increase to about €50 million. A significant number of these projects have a safety focus, including the L2119 Bawnmore realignment in County Galway, the upgrade of R420 at Kilmullen in Laois, Fintra Bridge in Donegal, Robeen Cross junction improvement, County Mayo and R755 Calary Road realignment in County Wicklow.”

 

Emphasising that his main priority remains the maintenance and safety of the network, the Minister added that investment in maintenance and renewal will see an increase of about 18% in 2018, saying, “roads that are well-maintained lead to less costs for vehicle repair, a reduction in journey times and, crucially, they are safer for us all to travel on.”

While there will be a cut in current funding for local authorities, increases in capital spending will result in a funding package which should allow approximately 2300kms of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2100kms to be strengthened this year.

 

“I am especially pleased that the 2018 grant allocations include important initiatives in the area of Community Involvement Schemes and Drainage. While local authorities were able to use general grants for such schemes in recent years, this year ring-fenced funding is being provided. These are two areas where I have very much wanted to take action and I am very glad to be able to do so this year. There needs to be an increased focus on measures to improve the resilience of the road network in the face of climate change.”

 

The Government gave a specific commitment after the devastating flooding in Donegal last year to assist Donegal County Council with road repairs and funding is being provided in 2018 to meet that commitment.

 

The Minister noted that the 2018 investment programme also allows for a number of Capital Plan projects to progress, including projects added after extra funding was secured in the Capital Plan Review. These include:

·         Bettystown to Laytown Link Road in County Meath

·         Dingle Relief Road (Phase 4) in County Kerry

·         Sallins by-Pass/Osberstown Interchange in County Kildare

·         Shannon Crossing/Killaloe Bypass/R494 Upgrade, County Clare

·         Athy Southern Distributor Road in County Kildare

·         Portlaoise Southern Relief Road in County Laois

·         Eastern Garavogue Bridge in Sligo

·         Grange Castle Business Park Approach Roads in County Dublin

·         Coonagh/Knockalisheen Distributor Road in Limerick

·         Sligo Western Distributor Road

·         R498 Latteragh Road Upgrade in County Tipperary

·         Tralee Northern Relief Road in County Kerry

 

Other improvement projects that have received an allocation in 2018 include:

·         Road improvement schemes in County Longford

·         Culvert Remedial work in Thomastown, County Kilkenny

·         Cong Road, County Mayo

·         Killala Road upgrade, County Mayo

·         Project to address flooding at Junction of R665 with R671 in Waterford

 

The rehabilitation of a number of critically deficient bridges on regional roads around the country including:

·         Latoon Creek Bridge in County Clare

·         Daly Bridge in Cork City

·         Tirconnell and Cockhill Bridges in County Donegal

·         Ardfinnan Bridge in County Tipperary

 

“There is also provision for 216 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 227 safety improvement projects to be carried out. The main focus of the safety improvements scheme is to improve safety at locations where collisions have taken place.”

 

The main features of the investment programme include:

·         €195m for road pavement strengthening works;

·         €48m for surface dressing;

·         €70.6m for maintenance and strengthening works for which Local Authorities have discretion in the selection of roads;

·         €50.3m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects;

·         €9.7m for Bridge rehabilitation works;

·         €7.1m for Safety Improvement Works;

·         €10m for Drainage works;

·         €10m for Community Involvement Schemes

·         €16m approx. of miscellaneous grants including, training, speed limit funding, severe weather repairs, salt purchase, road condition survey

 

“Funding of about €1m will be allocated to local authorities to further progress the implementation of 30km/h speed limits in housing estates across Ireland. This programme is now well advanced.”

 

“I would also like to emphasise again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to local authorities under grant headings to decide their work programme. I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”

 

Ends

Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093 www.dttas.ie pressoffice@dttas.ie

Initial Publication Date: 
29/01/2018