N5 bypass contract to be awarded next year

Addressing the Seanad on Thursday last, Minister of State Pippa Hackett confirmed that the contract for the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue bypass project is expected to be awarded early next year.

Work on the 33km stretch came to a shuddering halt earlier this year when contractor Roadbridge entered receivership.

Speaking in the Seanad, Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy said residents along the route had been dealing with “horrific accidents on the road morning, noon, and night over the past 40 years”.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that when one looks back over those 40 years, in excess of 30 people have been killed on the road and 60 to 70 have been injured,” he said.

Senator Murphy also highlighted safety concerns at Frenchpark, adding that there had been a “litany of accidents” in the village.

Responding to Senator Murphy, Minister of State Hackett said expressions of interest had been received.

“Roscommon County Council is currently engaged in the process of procuring the services of a new contractor to progress the construction of the project. The tender process is underway and expressions of interest have been received,” she said.

“Subject to the successful outcome of a tender process, it is intended that the award of the main contract will happen in the first quarter of 2023. It is currently anticipated that the construction of the main scheme will take three years”.

Minister Hackett added that a pavement improvement scheme had commenced along the route in 2022 and a feasibility and options report had been received for a safety scheme at the junction of the N5 and R361 in Frenchpark.

“This will proceed to the next phase and TIl will provide the necessary funding. Active travel improvements for towns and villages along this route are also being investigated”  she said.

“Approximately €51.6 million has been allocated to the N5 upgrade. It is a significant project and it is important that it be completed as soon as possible. I hope to see the tender process completed and construction starting, as projected, in the first quarter of 2023”.

Senator Murphy welcomed the news, saying that he hoped the project would be “up and running before too long”, before paying tribute to local public representatives who have continued to highlight safety issues at Tulsk and Frenchpark.