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The land acquisition process for the proposed bypass and bridge at Killaloe is “ongoing”.

Cllr Pat Burke sought an update on the development at the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District. He was informed by Senior Engineer Sean Lenihan that the compulsory purchase order (CPO) has been confirmed and that the land acquisition process is ongoing.

“This may continue into the New Year but crucially doesn’t prevent other works from happening in parallel”, Lenihan stated. The Council is currently in the handover process following a recent competition. “We are liaising with the DTTAS Inspector to ensure the project advances at the optimum pace through the various stages remaining”.

Reacting to the response, Cllr Michael Begley queried if professional groups dealing with CPOs are making more progress adding that half a dozen were problematic. Senior Executive Engineer, Hugh McGrath told Begley “the CPO is process not part of the programme”. Area co-ordinator Anne Haugh stated “the power to enter land is confirmed once the CPO is there”.

Lenihan’s response included an invitation for him to brief elected members of the District at a future meeting, having already agreed to a briefing from Leonard Cleary for their September gathering, Cllr Pat Hayes cautioned that holding this in November “lets the whole thing drag to the end of the year”.

At the January meeting of Clare County Council it was announced that works were expected to start in early 2019 with €34m allocated to it under the Government’s Capital Plan Review. 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.

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