Opening of N56 Cloghbolie to Boyoughter Road Scheme


Opening of N56 Cloghbolie to Boyoughter Road Scheme

A major improvement to the National Road network in Donegal, the N56 Cloghbolie to Boyoughter Road Scheme will be officially opened on Tuesday 21st January 2014, by the Mayor of Donegal, Councillor Ian McGarvey.

The new 3.3 kilometre carriageway eliminates one of the most sub-standard sections of the N56 and in particular the infamous "Meenacarn Bends" between Dungloe and Glenties just north of the village of Leitirmacaward’ and significantly improves travel times for motorists travelling on the N56.

The Cloghbolie to Boyoughter Road Scheme which is just now completed, is the first section of the broader N56 Dungloe to Glenties (Kilraine) Road Scheme to be constructed. The overall scheme is a 26km long pilot Type 3 Single Carriageway project. It starts at the southern end of Dungloe at the Little Bridge and continues generally in a southerly direction passing through the village of Leitirmacaward and through Glenties Town to terminate at the R262 Regional Road junction at Kilraine, south of Glenties. A combined cycleway/footway has been included over the full length of the scheme (excluding Glenties Town).

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar stated...

"This new carriageway will reduce journey times for road users and improve access to West Donegal. It will also introduce a dedicated cycleway and footpath to the benefit of other road users. Congratulations to the NRA and Donegal County Council for completing this upgrade of the Cloghbolie to Boyoughter section of the N56."

Councillor Ian McGarvey, Mayor of Donegal stated....

"It is a tremendous privilege and honour for me to have the opportunity to officially open the N56 Cloghbolie to Boyoughter Road Scheme. This project represents an important step in improving the accessibility of West Donegal and is to be welcomed wholeheartedly. The inclusion of the cycleway provides an excellent facility for local people and visitors alike. Improvement of the county’s roads infrastructure is critical and I welcome the continuing support of the NRA for the project. I look forward to further improvements on this and other routes in the county in the coming years."

The N56 between Cloghbolie to Boyoughter is one important step towards improved safety for all road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorist. We remain focused on completing the entire upgrade between Dungloe and Glenties, as funding becomes available. I would like to thank Donegal County Council, our NRA team and the residents for their collective efforts on delivering this important addition to the N56."

"Again, this scheme is an example of what the National Roads Authority is trying to achieve throughout the county, on its national secondary low volume network, that combines access for all road users utilising the existing road that fulfils a local need in a timely manner."


The scheme has been developed based on the design which is focus on online widening resorting to fully offline works only where online widening is not feasible.

The T3SC is a new design standard for low volume single carriageway roads and has been introduced by the National Roads Authority to provide an alternative option for improvements to these routes that takes into account both the low traffic volumes and the receiving environment.

The Preliminary Design for the Scheme and the Statutory Processes were carried out by the National Roads Design Office in Donegal Town. Fox Building & Engineering Ltd from Omagh were the successful contractor for the Cloghbolie to Boyoughter section and they completed the works in June 2013.

The existing road is mainly a bog rampart road and features such as hard strips, shoulders or verges are rarely present. This forces large vehicles to keep speeds very low to reduce the risk of toppling off the road edge. Ground conditions tend to be bedrock (mostly granite) overlain with thin layers of glacial deposits overlain with blanket bog. In many instances peat deposits are too deep to make excavation a viable option, further adding to the complexity and costs of improvement works.

Overall the scheme will address the narrow cross-section and poor alignment of the existing N56. The provision of designed overtaking sections within the scheme will lead to an increased level of service and reduced journey times which will be of benefit to the general economic development of West Donegal.

The provision of a combined Cycleway/Footway along the scheme is compatible with the Government’s smartertravel policy and the National Cycling Policy Framework. It will encourage a shift to more sustainable transport modes and provide a valuable recreation/tourist amenity.

The scheme will enhance the accessibility of West Donegal, which is recognised as rural disadvantaged area under the Government’s CLÁR programme. Also the scheme will provide improved access to the West Donegal Gaeltacht region and Donegal Airport.