Contract signed to widen M7 for long-suffering commuters

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Contract signed to widen M7 for long-suffering commuters
13:50 Thursday 21st of September 2017

Local TDs have welcomed confirmation that the contract has been awarded to widen the M7 motorway, deliver the Sallins Bypass and the Osberstown Interchange.

Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon said the €110m investment by Government will see the widening of the M7 to 3 lanes from the M9 interchange to the Big Ball at Naas, north and southbound and when completed will greatly enhance Kildare commuters travel times to Dublin.

This project which also covers a new interchange at Millennium Park and the Sallins Bypass should be completed by Spring 2020 with the much needed widening of the M7 to be completed by Autumn 2019.

Fianna Fail TD James Lawless has been working and campaigning for this project to progress since moving to Sallins, as both a councillor on Kildare County Council and as a TD in Dáil Éireann.

Deputy Lawless said “I am delighted to confirm that the contract has been awarded for these vital pieces of infrastructure. Since becoming active in politics and as a local resident in Sallins I have been campaigning for the M7 widening and the Sallins bypass projects to be completed. It is a long time coming but is very welcome.

“Once completed these works will be critical for road users in Sallins, Naas plus the wider areas such as Prosperous and Clane. The Sallins bypass in particular will take traffic out of Sallins and help ease congestion in the village and surrounding areas which is critical in helping people get to work on time. I want to credit Peter Carey and his team in Kildare County Council for their work in progressing this project” concluded Deputy Lawless.

Fianna Fail TD Fiona O'Loughlin said: "Kildare has the highest rate of people commuting to work outside the county and I hope that this will elevate the traffic congestion we all dread!"

An Taoiseach, Mr. Leo Varadakar, T.D., welcomed today’s announcement, "I'm thrilled that work will start soon on widening the M7 from Naas to the M9, along with the bypass of Sallins and a new Interchange at Osberstown.

"It's a vital motorway for commuters and for freight transport, which is prone to congestion at peak times. This project will also benefit residents and businesses in County Kildare with improved access.  As Minister for Transport I oversaw the Newlands Cross fly-over which removed the last traffic light between Cork and Belfast.

"This project is almost next door and takes that upgrade one step further. Projects like this will help us to ensure balanced regional development, and that all parts of Ireland share in the recovery and growing prosperity."

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, T.D. said, “I’m delighted to see this significant scheme progressing to contract award stage.

"This will be the first of the major road upgrade projects included in the “Building on Recovery” Capital Investment Plan to go to construction. While the M7 Naas road widening will improve traffic flow on the main Dublin to Cork corridor, the Osberstown Interchange and the Sallins Bypass will enhance connectivity between the M7 and the towns of Naas and Sallins supporting transport planning for the area.”

Michael Nolan CEO TII said, “TII is pleased with today’s announcement. Improvements to traffic flow along the M7 corridor offers regional and national benefits.  It will enhance safety and reduce traffic delays for all road users travelling to and from Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Limerick.  TII looks forward to working the Kildare County Council and DTTaS in delivering this project.”

Peter Carey CEO Kildare County Council said, “We welcome today’s contract award which will not only underpin economic recovery in this country, but also represents a tremendous investment in our local economy, improving the attractiveness of Kildare as a location for business and Tourism opportunities.

"It is a critical piece of infrastructure linking the National Road network to the Regional and Local Road network for Naas, Sallins and environs allowing expansion for development and creating significant value for the region. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our employees in the Kildare National Roads Office in Naas, TII and the DTTaS for their professionalism in bringing this strategic project to such an advanced stage."

Major road scheme 

The award of today’s contract with SIAC/Colas JV commences one of the most significant road schemes contained in the Government’s Building on Recovery Programme.  This contract consists of three major elements and is scheduled for full completion early 2020:

  1. Widening the existing M7 motorway from two lanes to three lanes both eastbound and westbound for approximately 14km, between Junction 9 Naas North, at Maudlins (Perpetual Motion Ball) and the M7/M9 interchange at Junction 11.
  2. Replacing and relocating the existing ramps at Junction 10 Naas South Newhall to the main Naas Newbridge dual carriageway, the R445.  Also to include the construction of a new interchange at Osberstown between Junctions 9 and 10 which will be designated Junction 9a.
  3. The Sallins Bypass which includes approximately 1.7km of new Type 2 Dual Carriageway and 2.0km of single carriageway, together with a 1.2km single carriageway link road from the Bypass to Sallins town centre.

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