An Taoiseach and Minister Ross turn sod on N4 Collooney-Castlebaldwin Road and Western Distributor Road

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, today welcomed the construction start of two Project Ireland 2040 road improvement schemes serving Sligo and the North West region. 
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Today’s sod turning is yet another example of Project Ireland 2040 in action. This road has been promised for many years, but now it is finally being delivered. The Government has identified Sligo as a regional centre which can drive development across the North West. We are backing this up through significant investment in roads, education, healthcare, tourism projects and sporting facilities in Sligo, to name just a few.
“People living in this area have been calling for the N4 to be upgraded for a very long time. Anyone who has travelled on this road will be familiar with the white crosses along the route, in memory of the many lives which have been lost. The new road will not only improve safety, it will also shorten journey times, which is good news for locals and for attracting tourists and business investment into the region.” 
Welcoming the upgrade of the Collooney to Castlebaldwin Minister Ross said: “This section of the N4 is a very unsafe stretch of road. Road safety is one of my key priorities as Minister. I am very pleased to have secured the funding for the delivery of this scheme. This will be a very welcome development for the community who will be pleased to have achieved Government approval for this important project.”
The Minister also highlighted that the upgrade will reduce journey times and improve regional connectivity.  
Speaking at the sod turning for the 2nd Phase of the Sligo Western Distributor Road the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport said that he was very pleased to see this important project go ahead with the support of his Department and IDA Ireland.
The Minister acknowledged the significant benefits the scheme will bring to Sligo including: 
-      enabling the development of zoned lands creating the potential for significant employment and residential development;  
-      providing alternative and improved access to Sligo Docklands as well as Strandhill and reducing congestion in the city centre;
-      giving direct access to community sports and parkland facilities for the residential areas of Maugheraboy, Ballydoogan and Kevinsfort and providing   safe access by foot and bicycle;
-      facilitating the development by IDA Ireland of a new Business Park at Oakfield  to serve Sligo and the North-West Region and link both the proposed Business Park and the existing IDA Business Park at Finisklin to the N4 dual carriageway.
During his visit to Sligo the Minister is also being briefed on a 3rd Project Ireland 2040 scheme – the Eastern Garavogue Bridge and Approach Road scheme. This scheme will provide an eastern relief road for Sligo, linking communities north and south of the river and promoting regeneration and development. The scheme, which has been designed using the guidance in the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, is being funded under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund and by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093