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Improvement works on dangerous N59 stretch gone to tender

Improvement works on dangerous N59 stretch gone to tender

Minister of State hopeful work on Greenway stretch will begin by end of 2011

Trevor Quinn

MINISTER of State, Deputy Michael Ring, has confirmed today (Wednesday) that road works which will improve a dangerous stretch of the N59 road between Westport and Newport, have gone to tender - and the Westport Deputy is hopeful these works will begin before the end of 2011.
The stretch of road at Kilbride outside of Newport was recently described as 'frightening' and 'dangerous' due to the fact that thousands of cyclists who are using the popular Great Western Greenway, are forced to use this heavily trafficked road for up to two miles.
Deputy Ring confirmed in a statement today that he has been in contact with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Roads Authority, Mr Fred Barry, in relation to the completion of the roadworks at Kilbride on the N59.
“I am very anxious that this work would start before the end of the year. I am delighted to learn that that this work has gone out to tender. I will monitor this and as soon as the tender is selected, I will put whatever pressure on that I can, to get this work started as quickly as possible to complete the Kilbride to Newport part of the N59. This in turn will deal with the problem on the Greenway.”
Two weeks ago, local councillors told The Mayo News they had 'grave concerns' over a two-mile section of the new Greenway in Kilbride, where walkers and cyclists were using the same stretch as buses and trucks.
Cllrs Brendan Mulroy and Michael Holmes believed that tourists and locals alike were unwittingly 'putting their lives at risk' when using this part of the Greenway. The project has otherwise been a huge success with thousands cycling some or all of the 43 km route from Westport to Achill throughout the summer.
Funding for the necessary road works, which are estimated to cost in the region of €2 million, were allocated in January last, although the subsequent delay in the project has caused some consternation and confusion.
Cllr Mulroy had called for the urgent completion of an emergency cycle lane and an underpass to deal with the problem at Kilbride. He said that cyclists and pedestrians were being forced to navigate in a dangerous fashion alongside fast moving traffic with limited space on the N59.