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Press Releases for 2006
Cullen officially Opens Major National Infrastructure Project the N7 Naas Road Widening & Interchange
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15 August 2006

Cullen officially Opens Major National Infrastructure Project the N7 Naas Road Widening & Interchange

Transport Minister, Martin Cullen, T.D., today (Tuesday, 15th August 2006) officially opened the N7 Naas Road Widening & Interchange scheme, one of the most complex and challenging road engineering projects to be undertaken in the State.  Costing €233.4 million, the scheme has been completed within budget and on time. It was funded by the Irish taxpayers and part funded by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network. 

The scheme was a joint venture between South Dublin County Council and Kildare County Council under the supervision of the National Roads Authority.  It was a design and build contract carried out by Clonmel Enterprises / Laing O'Rourke consortium while Halcrow Barry Consulting were the engineers who managed the project. 

Minister Cullen said: "Today's opening is another important part in the transformation of our major interurban routes, not only of the N7 - Dublin to Limerick route but also the N8  - Dublin to Cork route and the N9  - Dublin to Waterford route.  The project will deliver a very significant improvement in capacity and quality on this key strategic corridor.  This is the tenth National road project to be opened this year and is on time and within budget. As we see here today, this Government is delivering a 21st Century transport network for a 21st Century economy."

Minister Cullen was speaking in Kill, County Kildare where he unveiled a commemorative stone to mark the completion and the official opening of the project. The Naas road has an average daily traffic level of 62,000 vehicles from commuter traffic to traffic linking the South and South West with Dublin. 

The project involved the upgrading of 5.4km of the N7 between Rathcoole and the county boundary with Kildare.  It consists of:-

  • improvement of the existing mainline N7 dual carriageway including elimination of median crossings;
  • the provision of three traffic lanes in both directions;
  • 4 new grade-separated interchanges;
  • 2 new foot bridges;
  • 14kms of new regional and link roads;
  • a new twin roundabout configuration at the Monread/Naas junction;
  • re-alignment of the slip roads on the Rathcoole interchange; and
  • the removal of traffic control lights at Johnstown and Kill.

Other schemes due to commence construction on the N7 and N8 routes are:-

  • M7 Portlaoise/Castletown M8 Portlaoise/Cullahill Motorway.  A 40kms PPP scheme, tenders for this project are currently under evaluation with construction due to commence in 2007;
  • N7 Castletown/Nenagh A proposed 37kms high quality dual carriageway stretching south of Borris in Ossary to the Eastern end of the Nenagh Bypass, due to commence on site in 2008;
  • N7 Nenagh/Limerick Construction of 38kms of motorway/ high quality dual carriageway between Limerick and the start of the Nenagh Bypass
  • N8 Cullahill/Cashel 40kms in length, this is the longest new motorway project to be constructed in Ireland.  Work will begin shortly and is due to be completed in 2009; and
  • N8 Mitchelstown/Fermoy 16kms scheme is due to commence construction in 2008 and is scheduled for completion in 2010.

Work on the Rathcormac/Fermoy PPP project is significantly ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Minister Cullen called on all road users to drive with care.  "Following the recent measures I introduced to improve road safety and driver behaviour, the gardai have been extremely active this Summer and I wish to acknowledge their input in assisting the Government in making our roads safer.   Their high and increasing number of checkpoints for mandatory breath testing alone are making a significant difference and are changing the mindset of drivers on Irish roads who are now realising that if they drink and drive they will be caught.  Again, I call on drivers to play their part and consider the risks they are taking when they insist on speeding, drink driving or driving while holding a mobile phone." 

Mr. Peter Malone, Chairman of the National Roads Authority said: "The completion of the Naas Road project is one of this year's major events because we are relieving one of the most travelled roads in Ireland of critical congestion points and improving its overall safety. It is a vital link in the chain of the national road network connecting Cork, Waterford and Limerick direct to Dublin.  In addition, as you improve access to and from major regions throughout the country it will allow for continued growth in regional daily commerce and tourism. In closing, I am happy to say we are keeping pace toward completing all five urban connections highlighted in Transport 21 by 2010." 

Further info:   

Veronica Scanlan at (01) 6041090 or 087 6430622