More than 25 years after it was first mooted, a bypass of Adare is once again on the cards, with three of four proposed routes for the new Limerick to Foynes road incorporating a bypass of the village.
The four ‘route corridors’ went on display this week to allow members of the public give their views on the proposals.
Three of these possible routes skirt the village of Adare and if they were to be chosen would effectively result in a bypass to the north of the town.
The news has been given a cautious welcome locally where there is huge frustration at heavy volume of traffic passing through the village on a daily basis.
Anthony Murphy of Adare Community Council said the inclusion of the village in the plans gave renewed hope that the long awaited bypass could finally become a reality.
“It is great to see that so many of the corridors are coming around Adare. Hopefully they will lead to a bypass being built,” he said.
“The village would go from strength to strength out of it,” he added.
However, local Fine Gael TD Dan Neville cautioned that, while a bypass was badly needed, incorporating it into the new Foynes road was not necessarily the only option.
“If they decide on a route to Foynes, when will it happen?” he asked.
“€5.2m has been spent already on planning a bypass for Adare without a shovel of earth being turned. Twenty-five years ago, when the bypass was first being discussed, €5.2m would have done it,” he added.
He estimated that it would cost between €200m and €300m to build the proposed new road – a sum of money that may not become available for some time.
“I am not getting over excited because when am I going to see €200m to €300m becoming available for that road, no matter how worthy it is?” he asked.
Mr Neville pointed out that if one of the three routes bypassing Adare was selected, it would be the third proposed route for such a bypass in 25 years.
Most recently, a bypass to the south of the village was turned down by An Bord Pleanala in 2013 on the basis that it was not sustainable and that it would not be effective in removing traffic from Adare.
Prior to that, a bypass to the north of the village was put forward by Limerick County Council, but this was later scrapped in favour of the southern route.
Mr Neville said this southern route should not be dismissed yet, particularly in light of the likely development of the M20 to Cork to which it could be linked.
Alternatively he suggested that the bypass of Adare to the north could go ahead independently of the Foynes road and be linked to it later.
“There is no disagreement about the need for a bypass in Adare. We need a bypass and we need it as quickly as possible, not in 10, 20 or 30 years time,” he said.
There are four route corridor options under consideration. The first follows closely the route of the existing N69, while the other three all link with the N21 at the Attyflin junction near Patrickswell.
One option – the blue route – follows the line of the Foynes to Limerick rail line via Rathkeale and Adare.
The orange route also goes close to Rathkeale but cuts through Croagh before converging with the other routes near Adare.
The green route veers away from the present N69 route between Askeaton and Kilcornan and travels west and south of Curraghchase towards Adare.
The routes can be viewed at the Mid-West road design office in Dooradoyle and submissions can be made until March 27.