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Sod turned on next stage of N59 upgrade


MAKING PROGRESS  Minister for Community and Rural Development, Michael Ring, TD performed the official opening of the N59 Rossow Bends Scheme in Kilmeena. He is pictured with council staff, elected representatives and members of the local Westport and Kilmeena communities.

Anton McNulty

Linking the N5 with the N59 will open up access to west Mayo and turn the Clew Bay region into a ‘world class tourism hub’, according to the Chief Executive of Mayo County Council.
The sod of the N59 Kilmeena Road Realignment Scheme was officially turned last week by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, who also officially opened the N59 Rossow Bends Scheme.
The N59 Kilmeena Road Realignment Scheme is the latest stage of the minor improvement scheme along the N59 between Newport and Westport. It will link up with the final stage of the scheme at Barley Hill, which is due to commence in 2019 alongside the N5 Westport to Turlough project.
Speaking at the official ceremony in Kilmeena Community Centre, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, said the upgrade of the N5 and N59 will ‘bring huge potential to the region’.
“When we start the N5 next year, and we will, we will be more than half way of delivering that ambitions plan to link all the way from Westport to Mulranny. If you think of the potential of Clew Bay and think of all the amenities, the islands, the beaches and the towns and all of the attractions around Clew Bay, and think of the access that there is going to be around that. This is going to be a world class tourism hub. All the way from Achill through Mulranny, Newport, Westport and out to Louisburgh and the islands … world class,” he said.
Mr Hynes said the projects they were celebrating in Kilmeena were ‘small steps’ in the ambitious plans which the council have for the county.

The Rossow Bends Scheme involved the realignment of a 1.8km section in order to remove a particularly bad bend on this section of the N59. Construction was completed by Ward & Burke Construction Ltd in September 2016 at the cost of over €6 million.
The contract for the Kilmeena Road Realignment Scheme was awarded to PJ Carey Ltd and involves the upgrade of 2.6km of single carriageway road and the construction of approximately 1km of cycleway. It will tie in with the recently completed section at Rossow and construction is due to begin in the next few weeks.
Mayo County Council also have plans to upgrade sections of the N59 in three stages between Newport and Mulranny and the overall cost of the scheme between Mulranny and Westport is to cost €55 million.
Performing the official opening and sod turning of the two projects, Minister Ring said without the foresight of Mayo County Council, the TII and the Mayo National Roads Design Offices, these projects would never have happened and it was a good day for the region.
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Blackie Gavin, praised the co-operation of the landowners in making land available for the projects and looked forward to the completion of the new section of the road.