The new Longford N5 bypass is set to open to traffic ahead of schedule in the coming weeks.
While the County Council have yet to set an official date it is understood the 2.6 kilometre stretch of road will open nearly two months ahead of the original October deadline.
Paul Newell, of the Council’s Roads Department, is happy with the progress being made since construction began in April 2011. “We’re very happy with the work that’s been done. The final layer of tar is going down this week and then we’re ready to start lining the road. We don’t have an opening date yet but we are ahead of schedule.”
The new bypass will link up the N5 at Ballyminion on the Strokestown Road with the N4 just after the Red Cow Roundabout. It is expected the new route will help alleviate traffic congestion in Longford town and in particular to divert heavy good vehicles from the town centre.
The multi-million Euro project being carried out by Will Bros. Ltd. Contractors was one of the few major infrastructure projects given the green light by the Department of the Transport last year.
Speaking at the time, Minister Leo Varadkar said: ‘Removing national traffic from the centre of Longford will free up access to business, resulting in an improved quality of life for residents, traders and the public in general.
“At present, there are no junctions between the N4 and the N5 roundabouts, so this new road will speed up travel times for those who live locally and those who are passing through Longford.”
In total there was a €26 million budget allocation for the N5 Scheme which included all costs associated with the project, including the design costs and land acquisition.
The project also includes building two roundabouts, a rail bridge, and bridges over the Camlin river and the Lisbrack road.