*Works on the construction of the Killaloe Bridge from January. 

PROJECT completion of the Killaloe Bridge and Bypass is scheduled for the middle of 2025.

Elected members of the Killaloe Municipal District were briefed by representatives from Sisk and RPS Consulting at their May meeting to give an update on the Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Bridge Crossing and R494 Upgrade.

An estimated cost of €41m is attached to the project. 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.

Liaison officer with Sisk, Padraic Cullen said progress is going well, “we’re on target, we’ve targeted the Killaloe Bypass to open in the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year, the Shannon Bridge Crossing for quarter one of 2025 and project completion by mid 2025”.

Cullen continued, “it has been challenging, we’ve had adverse weather events which have set us back but we’ve regained time lost”. There are challenges with the R464 “because it is a busy road, we’re trying to maintain access for residents and services, there is a substantial amount of accommodation works to be done,” he advised. “It is difficult and challenging but managing landowner expectations is particularly challenging”.

Completing the Killaloe Bypass is “the easiest element, it is more or less a greenfield construction, that element of works will be the first we target to open”.

David Cawley of RPS Consultants noted, “The views are absolutely fantastic coming down the road and it will be very popular”. There will be a safer road, the “segregation is better for cyclists and pedestrians,” he added. Cawley continued, “there is lots of trees and planting, areas fenced off for ponds and wetlands, not least of all it delivers Killaloe and Ballina back to the people as the politicians say, it will deliver economic growth back to the area, it is a great scheme and I’m delighted to be involved with it”.

Cathaoirleach of the Killlaloe MD, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) commented, “The project will enable Killaloe and East Clare to be the gateway to Co Clare. We’ve been saying it for years, the project is not just to relive traffic, it is a game changer for tourism and for business”.

Works to date are “simply fantastic,” Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) noted. “This is going to be a great asset to the Mid-West region, it is something we’ve been looking for”.

Similarly Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) added that he was “highly impressed”. He said, “it is a phenomenal achievement, we never believed we’d see it”.

A briefing on the project fifteen years ago was recalled by Cllr Pat Burke (FG), “we got a briefing on Killaloe Bridge and Bypass, I remember telling a fella about it at the time and he said that will never happen in our lifetime, it was fifteen years ago”. It will greatly assist those commuting to UL, he explained.

“There will be champagne drank when it is over the line,” quipped Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF).

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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