Offaly County Council in conjunction with Westmeath County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) are developing the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link Scheme to upgrade 8km of this National Secondary Route between the Tullamore Bypass and the M6 at Junction 5 (Kilbeggan).
This project is of particular importance as it links the north-east and the south-west of Ireland, from Ardee in County Louth to Nenagh in County Tipperary and services the towns of Kells, Mullingar, Tyrrellspass, Kilbeggan, Tullamore, Birr. The proposed N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme will improve the quality of the road and result in better road safety for local people and commercial traffic alike.
Delivering this project is a priority. The N52 currently operates above capacity, carrying over 14,000 vehicles per day, on a single carriageway with a narrow hard shoulder, as well as having many private access points and public junctions. The overall aim of the proposed new scheme is to improve connectivity within The Midlands and address existing operational and safety issues.
Previously a Preferred Route Corridor and Route Selection Report were published in 2009, which progressed to draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 2011. However at that time the scheme was suspended due to funding constraints.
Recent changes have occurred in relation to Environmental Legislation, Design Standards and Requirements of the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform (The Public Spending Code). Therefore, it is now necessary to fully re-appraise the project through the TII Project Management Process. As a result, all previous work must be revisited.
RPS Consulting Engineers have been commissioned by Offaly County Council to provide the engineering and consultancy services required to deliver the proposed scheme through Phases 1 to 4 of the TII Project Management process, including Concept & Feasibility, Option Selection, Design & Environmental Evaluation and Statutory Planning. Subject to annual funding, the design process will be developed in stages, with opportunities for the public to participate in the decision-making at each stage.
Full information on the scheme, including latest news and details of public consultation periods and events, can be found on the project website www.n52tullamoretokilbeggan.ie .