04.08.11 Sod Turning Ceremony takes place for Tralee Bypass Road Improvement Scheme

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will today, Thursday 4th August, along with his colleague Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, mark the commencement, of the N22/N69 Tralee Bypass Road Improvement Scheme with a sod turning ceremony at Ballygarry House, Tralee.

The project, which will be 13.km in total, comprises of an 8 km Dual Carriageway Eastern Bypass of Tralee Town and a 5.5 km single carriageway link road from the proposed Bypass to the N22 Killarney Road at Bealagreallagh. The overall scheme will connect four of the five national routes (N21, N22, N69 and N70) that terminate in Tralee and will improve the road transport corridor between Tralee and Killarney, greatly improving travel in the whole region which will result in shorter journey times and safer road conditions.

Commenting Minister Deenihan said “I have no doubt that this Bypass will be of enormous benefit to not only the people of Tralee and Killarney but also to the entire county of Kerry. This Bypass will see a reduction of traffic in Tralee Town Centre by a quarter as well as reducing all travel times by one third. The €97.03m invested in this project is proof of this Government’s commitment to Irish road safety, our economic growth and the continuing improvements of this country’s infrastructure. The creation of an estimated 150 jobs during the period of construction and the predicted reduction of 15 – 16% in traffic will show clear evidence of such commitment. ”

Minister Deenihan added “I am delighted to see a cycle-track proposed along the western verge of the full length of the dual carriageway section as well as a footway/cycleway on the link road between the Bypass and the Forge Cross. Now, more than ever, we need to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle and facilities such as the cycle way provide us with a safe area to cycle and walk.

The scheme includes the construction of five roundabouts on the mainline, two further roundabouts on side roads, three at-grade priority junctions, one priority junction (exit only on mainline) and approximately 3 km of side roads with the total project cost being €97.03m.

Six principal structures are required on the scheme as well as a number of culverts spanning minor streams and a number of accommodation underpasses.

Minister Deenihan concluded “The work being undertaken is a real vote of confidence in Tralee and the entire county of Kerry and I would like to congratulate everyone who is involved in such a worthwhile initiative.”

Minister Deenihan is available for interviews by contacting 087 2908193.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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