The N55 Athlone to Ballymahon Scheme is currently at route selection stage and it was expected that the Emerging Preferred Route would be announced by March 2019.
Various difficulties have had the cumulative effect of delaying the selection of the Emerging Preferred Route. The scheme has proven quite complicated given the high level of constraints such as archaeological sites, architectural heritage, sensitive environment along with high levels of ribbon development and agricultural activity. These constraints require careful consideration.
There has been an upturn in activity in the engineering and road construction sectors. In the current economic climate, experienced engineers and experts are in high demand nationwide and this has led to delays in procuring the relevant specialists and having them complete their investigations. However, these investigations have now been completed, albeit later than expected. The various reports are with the design consultants who can now appraise the route options in accordance with TII guidelines. The Emerging Preferred Route will be the result of this appraisal process.
It is envisaged that the completion of this process may take a further 4 months, which would indicate publication of the Emerging Preferred Route in July of this year.
We appreciate the inconvenience caused to those affected by the scheme. We have made every effort to expedite the programme; however, we cannot compromise the route selection process and are committed to selecting the optimum route for this scheme.
Westmeath County Council
National Roads Office
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 12/03/2019