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01 Dec 2021

Contracts signed to build new road in Offaly town

Contracts signed to build new road in Offaly town

Offaly County Council have signed a contract with Tower Civil Engineering to complete the construction of Phase 1 of the Edenderry Inner Relief Road project.

Phase 1 of the Edenderry Inner Relief project will see the construction of a new link road from Clonmullen linking across to the St. Conleth’s Road (R401) via Clonmeen Rise. It also includes the realignment of the R401 / Gleann Na Carraige improving access westward toward Fr. McWey Street.

This link will enable traffic coming from the Dublin Road (R402) to access the north side of Edenderry Town without having to use the severely congested Main JKL Street.

Due to the high volume of through traffic to and from Dublin and the near 8,000 population of the second largest town in Offaly, it often takes up to half an hour to cross Edenderry town. Edenderry also acts as a school hub for a large hinterland, exacerbating traffic issues.

Recent traffic counts conducted by Offaly County Council have found that approximately 18,000 vehicles daily travel through Edenderry on the R402, an extremely high volume exceeding many National routes.

Surveys carried out on behalf of Offaly County Council found that traffic is the number one issue for residents of Edenderry. In response, Offaly Council Council secured Part 8 Planning for Edenderry Inner Relief Road project in March 2019.

Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Muncipal District, Councillor Liam Quinn stressed the status of Edenderry as Offaly’s second largest town, and it’s role as a key economic driver in East Offaly and wider hinterland extending into parts of Counties Kildare and Meath.

Cllr Quinn recognised the support and prominence given to this project throughout its development by his colleagues in Edenderry Municipal District.

Speaking at the contract signing, Anna-Marie Delaney Chief Executive Offaly County Council expressed her thanks for the support of elected representatives and the work carried out by the technical team to advance this highly significant project.

Ms. Delaney identified this project as being of strategic importance to Edenderry, and said she was pleased to see this key objective of the Local Area Plan delivered.

Ms. Delaney praised the myriad of positive developments in Edenderry in recent years, mentioning the Library development, public realm projects, Grand Canal Greenway enhancement and pipeline of Blundell Masterplan projects emerging.

Ciaran Garry, Managing Director of Tower Civil Engineering, remarked that he was excited to be taking on this substantial project and looked forward to bringing Tower’s experience and skills to this challenging civil engineering project.

Sharon Kennedy Area Manager Edenderry Municipal District added that this key piece of infrastructure would provide another piece of the jigsaw, enabling the thriving town of Edenderry reach its full potential. MS. Kennedy added that this would strengthen Edenderry, encouraging compact growth and supporting zoned lands.

Tom Shanahan Director of Transportation Offaly County Council looked forward to the potential advancing of Phase 2 of the Edenderry Inner Relief Road project in the near future. Design has recently been complete for Phase 2 which would link Fr. McWey Street, at the rear of the Dunnes Shopping Centre, to Eden Business Campus providing a route onwards to Rhode via the R441.

Cllr. Quinn noted the impact the completion of the full project would have on access for school, particularly the planned new Oakland College, adjacent to the Dunnes Shopping Centre.

Mark Mahon took the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Department of Transport for providing the funding of approximately €2.5m for this crucial link.

Mark thanked the elected representatives and Management Team for their support and commitment through the many stages of the project development. Mark added that work would continue to advance Phase 2 to construction, and thanked Michael Mullarkey, Chief Designer for his tireless work.

Mark explained that during project development, detailed analysis found that reducing traffic on the R402 through Edenderry would provide many economic benefits: improving transport efficiency through reduced journey times, improving the attractiveness of Edenderry Town as a place to shop and do business in and improving transport reliability in the town. Offaly County Council have also actively explored the environmental benefits to reduced traffic, currently collaborating with the EPA and UCC in a cutting edge project assessing air quality.

Offaly County Council have prioritised the including of quality cycle-ways within Edenderry Inner Relief. This will provide a boost to the development of an expanding cycling network currently being planned through Active Travel initiatives.

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