New road to remove 10,000 vehicles a day from Cashel town and reduce traffic delays by 30-minutes at peak times
Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen TD has said the new Cashel By-Pass illustrates the Government's commitment to delivering "shorter, safer and superior journeys for Irish road users."
The Minister was speaking today (Monday, 11th October, 2004) at the official opening of the Cashel By-Pass. The new €48.6million road, completed 7 months ahead of schedule and within budget, will reduce peak time traffic delays by up to 30-minutes and remove up to 10,000 vehicles a day from Cashel town.
The project includes the 6.7km By-Pass and 3.9km of link roads (details below). Up to 60% of the traffic currently using the main street of Cashel will now use the new By-Pass. The present volume of traffic includes 2,300 HGVs which disrupts community life and gives rise to adverse noise and air pollution.
Minister Cullen said a central objective of the Cashel By-Pass project is to contribute to the continuity of development of the N7/N8 major inter-urban route from Dublin to Cork to motorway/high quality dual carriageway standard. Together with other improvements on the N8, Minister Cullen said the By-Pass will improve service and access along this important route for private, commercial and tourist road users.
He said: "This project, in conjunction with other projects in planning, under construction and already completed on this corridor will ensure a continuous standard of dual carriageway / motorway from Dublin to Cork, a distance of approximately 257km. It forms an integral part of the overall strategy for the development of the South West corridor to dual carriageway / motorway standard and will contribute to the social and economic development of the South and East region."
Minister Cullen highlighted a number of key benefits of the project including:
It will remove through traffic from the local road network thereby reducing congestion and improving environmental standards and safety;
It will accommodate future growth of traffic;
It will relieve existing severance along the main street by removing through traffic from Cashel;
It will help reduce accident rates experienced on the existing road through the development of a road offering free-flow traffic conditions at a safe level;
It will reduce vehicle/pedestrian/cyclist and other road user conflict in the town particularly in relation to the facilities provided to the 250,000 annual visitors to the Rock of Cashel; and
It will eliminate the potential for head on collisions as a result of overtaking manoeuvres.
Minister Cullen said that the Government's five-year road strategy is transforming the country's infrastructure and delivering a world-class motorway network. Investment in the national road network in line with the National Development Plan and the National Spatial Strategy, has targeted the upgrading of key inter-urban routes and the removal of major bottlenecks such as Kildare, Monasterevin and Cashel.
"Step by step, bottlenecks are being replaced by modern road infrastructure. The completion in quick succession of the Kildare By-Pass (2003), the Watergrasshill By-Pass (2003), today's Cashel By-Pass and the Monasterevin By-Pass next month will transform the Cork-Dublin journey", he said.
The Cashel project involved the provision of a 6.7km dual carriageway by-pass of Cashel extending from Garryard on the north side to Owen's and Bigg's Lot on the south side together with 3.9km of single carriageway connecting the N8 to the N74 and link roads.
A total of three junctions are incorporated into the scheme as follows:
A grade separated interchange at the intersection of the Clonmel Road and Fethard Road;
An at-grade roundabout at Garryard, and
An at-grade roundabout at Owen's and Bigg's Lot.
The works also included three bridge structures, associated drainage, accommodation and landscaping works. This project was advanced as a Design & Build Scheme. Completion in October 2004 is 7-months ahead of schedule.
Minister Cullen said the new road delivered a significant road safety dividend. "Upgraded roads, particularly motorway or dual carriageway standard roads, provide a much safer driving environment. This type of investment is a key part of the new Government Road Safety Strategy", he concluded.
Dan Pender (01) 6041089 or 087 2313415
Veronica Scanlon (01) 6041087 or 087 - 6430622
Map of Cashel By-Pass attached