Minister of State for Transport, Pat the Cope Gallagher, T.D. today (Monday, 19th June 2006) officially opened the Edgeworthstown Bypass which will bring to an end years of traffic congestion in the County Longford town and reduce journey times on the N4 route for thousands of people travelling to and from the West and North West daily.
Stretching 3kms, the Bypass constructed at a cost of €14 million (within budget) removes the last remaining bottleneck on the N4 East/West corridor. It will take away over 10,000 vehicles per day away from Edgeworthstown, a town that has often experienced huge traffic congestion at weekends and during the Summer holiday period.
Speaking in Edgeworthstown, Minister Gallagher said: "Today we are celebrating the handing back to the people of Edgeworthstown their own town. It cannot be denied that this fine 17th Century town, which was established by the Edgeworth family, has become a major bottleneck over the past years. This Bypass will give the people of Edgeworthstown back their streets with reduced through-traffic. It will have a positive impact socially, economically and environmentally on the town and surrounding areas.
"Over the next 10 years, we will spend an average of over €9.4 million a day on our transport infrastructure. Transport 21 represents an intensification and strengthening of the Government's commitment to ensuring that Ireland has a transport network to match and support our buoyant economy. Every region will benefit from the Transport 21 investment. It will ensure that regions are linked, making it easier for people to do business, create jobs locally and connect communities."
The opening of this Bypass is part of the broader Government programme of investment in our National Roads. It is one of six National roads projects open to traffic so far this year around the country. There are another nine major projects in construction, including the M1 Dundalk/Border, the N6 Kinnegad/Athlone, the N5 Charlestown Bypass and the N2 Castleblaney Bypass.
Mr. Peter Malone, Chairman of the National Roads Authority said: "Under the Government's Transport 21 Plan the National Roads Authority is overseeing the roll out of the largest roads programme in the history of the state, the benefits of which can been seen the length and breadth of the country. Transport 21 is not just about linking motorways across the country it also has a significant regional dimension -delivering schemes such as the Edgeworthstown Bypass. At only 3km in length, this scheme may be small in relation to the national picture but on a local scale it is massive. Removing 70% of nearly 15 thousand cars and lorries passing through the village it will give Edgeworthstown back to its people while benefiting motorists as they travel points west towards Sligo and east to Dublin. Smaller projects such as the Edgeworthstown Bypass bring huge benefits to the local scene and as we continue to complete more and more of these schemes we are reconnecting people with their communities."