THE MAJOR overhaul of the main road between Newcastle West and Barnagh is set to continue this year following the allocation of a sizable grant for the project by the National Roads Authority (NRA).
The N21 Barnagh re-alignment scheme was this week awarded €1.8 million by the NRA, more than one third of the entire €5.3 million which has been granted to Limerick County Council by the authority for 2013.
The first phase of the Barnagh project is nearing completion and is already open to traffic. This latest grant is for the completion of the first phase, rather than beginning the second phase of the road, which will eventually run all the way into the outskirts of Newcastle West at Cullinagh. However, it is nonetheless a welcome boost for a project aimed at making safe what was one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country.
Five people lost their lives in crashes in the Barnagh area in 2010, while successive bends as far as Garryduff cross had been the scene of regular accidents. The overhaul of the road, which began last year, came on foot of a major grassroots campaign by local residents to remove the road’s most dangerous features.
Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan welcomed the continued funding for Barnagh, and said that it will be “a relief to many to see this long-awaited project finally completed”. He added that “I have no doubt the voluntary committee set up in the wake of the tragic accidents will welcome this announcement”.
Elsewhere in West Limerick, the NRA has provided €36,500 for safety works at the Ferrybridge, near Clarina, while €256,000 has been granted to finish works on the Bolane bends on the N69 near Kildimo.
Seed funding has also been granted for the design of road projects at Ward’s Cross, Abbeyfeale and at Abbeyfeale town centre. These schemes are to benefit from €5,000 and €10,000 respectively. Applications for more significant funding can be made once the scheme passes the part eight public consultation and design phase.
In total €747,000 has been allocated by the NRA to Limerick County Council for maintenance of primary routes, with €187,000 for secondary routes.