"Bypass the most significant Waterford infrastructure ever" - Cullen
Contractors have been announced for what Waterford Minister, Martin Cullen TD has described as the most significant Waterford infrastructure project ever - the Waterford City Bypass. Work is to start on the project this forthcoming April.
The Minister was commenting following the decision by the National Roads Authority to award the contract to the Celtic Roads Group.
Welcoming the decision, Minister Cullen said the timing means an April 2006 start for work on the scheme. He said: "The way is now cleared for an April 2006 start, something we have been working hard to secure.
"For years, the lack of a bypass and the absence of a second bridge crossing has resulted in traffic choking the City, particularly along the quays. This will now be alleviated.
"We have seen the difference road projects can make. New roads like the recently opened Ring Road make a difference for people and jobs in the region. Make a difference for people by allowing easier, safer road journeys in less time and in less traffic. Make a difference for jobs by letting business do business, allowing companies to transport their goods and services with greater certainty. These are the reasons the Government will continue to invest in infrastructure and these are the gains I will continue to work for in Waterford", he said.
The Bypass will consist of a dual carriageway 23km in length, a cable stayed bridge spanning the river Suir at 475m in length and 4km of single lane carriageway. In addition, there will be 11km of side roads and tie-ins along with 2km of rail realignment. The Minister said that the new bridge promises to be a spectacular piece of infrastructure that will showcase the river Suir. "The new bridge will be a landmark for the South-East just as the Boyne Valley bridge is a landmark in the North-East", he said.
The bypass will begin at Kilmeaden to the west of Waterford and reconnect with the N25 to the east of Sliverue. Additional links will tie into the N24 road to Limerick and the N9 road from Dublin to Kilkenny. The river crossing is close to the N24/N9 junction to the north west of the city, thus allowing traffic on the N25 Cork - Rosslare route to bypass the City.
Regarding Woodstown, Minister Cullen said he was pleased that an arrangement had been reached that saw the Woodstown site protected while allowing work to start on the overall project. "The protection for archaeology has been ensured while progressing the bypass", he said.
A realignment of part of the route at Woodstown (approximately 3km) is being progressed by Waterford City Council.
Celtic Road Group is expected to commence construction on the bypass at the eastern portion of the scheme up to the Western Link Interchange and that access to the remaining portion of the scheme will be provided once the required statutory approvals are obtained.
The Celtic Roads Group comprises of ACS Group, Royal BAM Group (Ascon) and NTR Plc.
The National Roads Authority said the aim of the scheme is to provide a dual carriageway that bypasses Waterford City whilst also catering for the needs of the city. The existing route through Waterford City passes though the city centre along congested quays and over a single bridge crossing. The provision of the scheme will result in a safer and more effective transportation route and enhance the local environment.
Dan Pender 01 - 6041090 / 087 - 2313415