N69 Listowel Bypass Press Release
Minister turns the sod on €61m Listowel Bypass Project
Rathscanell Road officially opened by Minister Naughton following €7.8m upgrade
The Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD has turned the sod on the €61m Listowel Bypass project which will provide a new 6km carriageway and significantly improve road access and connectivity in north Kerry. Minister Naughton was in the county today for a number of engagements which included the official reopening of the R556 Rathscannell (Dale) road between Abbeydorney and Ballyduff which has undergone a €7.8m reconstruction and resurfacing upgrade.
The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney, hailed the turning of the sod on the Listowel Bypass as hugely important and beneficial for north Kerry. ‘The turning of the sod by Minister Naughton today represents a major milestone in delivering this project which will greatly improve journey times and help to alleviate traffic congestion in Listowel. It’s a transformative project for the entire north Kerry area and we look forward to its completion within the next two years.’
Minister Naughton said: ‘I am delighted to be here today to celebrate an important day for Kerry’s road network with Kerry County Council. The new N69 Listowel Bypass will provide much needed relief of congestion and improvements in road safety and journey times for the town. It will reduce journey times by up to 6 minutes and reduce traffic volumes by up to 40%.’
‘As well as this the inclusion of additional cycle facilities will provide residents with safer Active Travel facilities and form part of the 100+km cycling and walking route which will eventually link Limerick to Fenit via Listowel and Tralee. I wish TII, Kerry CoCo, and Will Brothers Ltd., all the very best in completing the project. I look forward to returning to the beautiful county of Kerry for the project’s official opening once completed,’ she said.
Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of Transport Infrastructure Ireland said: ‘The N69 Listowel Bypass is an important project that will deliver safety improvements for all road users along the N69 corridor as well as reduce unnecessary traffic within the town centre that will have a positive impact on the dayto-day experience for residents, visitors, and businesses alike. Additionally, this project incorporates cycling infrastructure that will provide intermodal transportation options for residents and visitors. We look forward to its completion.’
Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell said: ‘Work commenced on this major project in February for a year of preliminary works. It is a major undertaking from an engineering perspective including three new roundabouts and a new bridge over the River Feale and very significant ground works, public lighting, fencing and landscaping. I commend the contractors, Wills Brothers as well as the staff of our own National Road Design Office and their engineering consultants Jacobs Engineering Ireland for their efforts so far.’
Earlier, Minister Naughton and Cllr Moloney officially opened the Rathscannell Road which was reconstructed and resurfaced by the direct labour of Council crews over the past year and a half. The project, which commenced in September 2020, consists of a newly constructed 2.2km length of carriageway and adjacent local roads on the strategic route to and from north Kerry which will improve road safety and be of significant benefit to the locality and the region.
Cllr Moloney said: ‘This project was undertaken by direct labour from within the Council’s own staffing resources and is one of the biggest projects undertaken in this way for many years. I want to congratulate all those staff for delivering the new road project despite the pandemic and all of the challenges which the terrain represented.’
Minister Naughton said: ‘I am delighted to see the delivery of the Dale Road scheme which will improve the safety and the quality of this strategic regional road which is the main access route to Tralee and a popular tourist route accessing Ballybunnion, the Wild Atlantic Way and Blue Flag Beaches in North Kerry. Given the accident history of this section of road it was obvious that funding was required to upgrade it to an acceptable standard. I also want to congratulate my colleague and former Minister in the Department of Transport, Brendan Griffin, who ensured this critical project received essential funding for delivery during his tenure, amounting to €7.8m since 2019.’