NEGOTIATIONS between Limerick County Council and Newcastle West land owners over a multi-million new road at Barnagh are “pretty close” to reaching an agreement which will allow the project to proceed as planned, it has been revealed.
Earlier this month, what were described as “critical” discussions began between land owners and the council, which threatened to de-rail the entire scheme if unsuccessful.
The National Roads Authority (NRA) have indicated that funding for the road, which could cost in excess of €5 million, will be available next year. However if deals with land owners cannot be struck ahead of the planned start date of next March, the scheme would need to go through the drawn-out compulsory purchase order (CPO) process, which would see it shelved for at least a year and possibly lose its funding.
However the representative acting on behalf of the land owners, Eddie McQuinn of McQuinn Consulting in Tralee, told the Limerick Leader that he is “quite optimistic” that deals for the sale of the land can be brokered by the end of the year.
Mr McQuinn said that in “three or four cases” farmers have expressed concerns about aspects of the road designs, particularly the width of planned parallel access roads for agricultural traffic.
However, Mr McQuinn added that farmers in the area know that the N21 at Barnagh “is a tremendous danger”, and that the new road needs to go ahead.
The new road will see the construction of a separate carriageway adjacent to the existing N21, which will feature safe slip roads, junctions and stacking lanes, and will remove the dangerous bends of the current road.