09 Aug 2022

Plan to bypass town and build new bridge across the River Shannon gets green light

Major bypass and bridge over Shannon gets green light

An artist's impression of what the new bridge will look like

A MAJOR infrastructure project that will see a new bridge built across part of the River Shannon has received the green light.

Tipperary County Council has announced that approval has been granted by the Department of Transport to Clare County Council to award the contract for the Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Crossing and R494 Road Improvement project to John Sisk & Sons (Holdings) Ltd.

The contract value is €43.7-million plus VAT and the scheme will include a cycle lane over its entire length.

The Project Team for this scheme consisting of Clare County Council, Tipperary County Council, Department of Transport and scheme consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers have been progressing the delivery of this important piece of infrastructure for the Mid-West over the past number of years.

Michael O’Meara, Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District said: “This is fantastic news for Ballina/Killaloe and the wider North Tipperary/East Clare area. It will get rid of the long-standing queues at the old bridge and improve the quality of life in the twin towns and allow them achieve their full potential as a premier destination in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands".

Marcus O’Connor, Director of Services, Tipperary County Council said: “We have been working on this scheme with our colleagues in Clare County Council and the Department of Transport for over 15 years. It was a long haul but certainly worth it. It’s one of the biggest non-national road schemes in the country and will have a transformative impact on Ballina and its hinterland."

The proposed Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Bridge Crossing and R494 Improvement Scheme will provide a western bypass of Killaloe, a new bridge crossing of the River Shannon and an upgrade of the existing R494 regional road from Ballina to the N7 at Bridhill.

The entire scheme is approximately 6.2km and will cross the River Shannon approximately 1km to the south of the existing Killaloe Bridge and will cross the Kilmastulla River (a tributary of the River Shannon and part of the Lower River Shannon SAC) on the R494.

The proposed scheme has been broken down into three sections as follows:

Killaloe Bypass: This part of the scheme aims to create a western bypass around the town of Killaloe which will connect the R463 to the north of town with the proposed Shannon Bridge Crossing section and R463 to the south of the town.

Shannon Bridge Crossing: This section of the scheme will cross the River Shannon approximately 1km south of the existing Killaloe Bridge and will connect the proposed Killaloe Bypass with the R494.

R494 Upgrade: This section will involve widening, regrading and local realignment of the R494 from its junction with the R496 and proposed Shannon Bridge Crossing south of Ballina, as far as the junction with the R445 (previously known as N7) north of Birdhill.

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