€250 Million N5 Westport To Turlough Road Project Opened By Taoiseach
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD has today (Thursday, June 15, 2023) officially opened the new N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project.
The Taoiseach was joined at the opening of the €250 million project by Cllr Seamus Weir, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, project partners and elected representatives
The Westport to Turlough N5 Road Project is a 25.7km roadway that comprises of 20.3km of type two dual carriageway and runs from northwest of Westport at Deerpark East to the townland of Ballyneggin near Turlough where it connects with the existing N5.
The first phase of the project, a 10km section from the N5 roundabout at Ballyneggin to Pheasant hill on the Westport Road opened to the public at the end of April 2023. The completion of this venture sees the conclusion of the largest infrastructural project ever undertaken in the county.
Consultants, Roughan & O’Donovan- AECOM Alliance, along with the Mayo County Council’s National Roads Office advanced the road project from concept up to the successful CPO & EIA process with An Bord Pleanála.
Roughan & O’Donovan were procured for the preparation of the tender documents and tendering process for the award of the Design and Build Contract. The Design and Build Contract was awarded to Wills Bam Joint Venture in November 2019 and construction on the scheme began in January 2020.
The scheme will bring a range of benefits including, the reduction of traffic congestion in Castlebar and Westport, therefore improving road safety for vulnerable road users in those areas.
It will offer improved connectivity between the towns of Castlebar, Westport and Ballina and improve the connectivity to other vital roads infrastructure such as the N59, N60 and N84 national routes.
The construction and engineering of the new Westport to Turlough N5 project saw a multiple of engineering solutions considered and planned out. 600 acres of land was acquired from 250 different landowners as part of the development.
Along with the construction of the new National Road, there were 20km of local and other roads improved and 7km of active travel roadways built. Two railway bridges, six roundabouts, 13 underpasses and 11 overbridges were also constructed to facilitate the project.
There are also several environmental benefits to this project which will enhance the environmental quality in both Castlebar and Westport with a reduction in traffic passing through them, thus improving air quality and reducing noise.
Material excavated from Drumlins during the construction period was reused within the road project, while unsuitable soft material that was excavated was set aside in adjacent environmentally controlled recovery areas.
Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar speaking at the opening ceremony said:
“The completion of the N5 Westport to Turlough Road project is a significant development for the people of County Mayo and the West, and I am honoured to open it having approved it during my first term as Taoiseach. This €250m project is the single biggest Government investment ever made in Co Mayo.
“The Government has prioritised balanced regional development. We want every region to share in our prosperity and securing good jobs and investment is one of the most effective ways of doing that. This new road will drive investment and employment throughout the county and the western region, as well as making the transport of goods and services more efficient It will enhance both road safety and the quality of life in the area, by improving accessibility and journey times for people commuting to work and other activities.
“The road will also benefit tourism, opening up new possibilities for people to visit this wonderful county and see new views of the lakes and mountains that make Mayo so special.
“Road projects like this one represent the best work of our local authorities and skilled workers. It shows that when we work together, we can realise the positive vision we have for Ireland.”
Cathaoirleach, Cllr Weir added: “It’s a great honour as the first citizen of Mayo to be part of this historic day. The new N5 Westport to Turlough Road Project will be a game changer for Mayo in terms of connectivity and road safety.
“I want to complement all who were involved in this scheme from the very beginning to bringing us to where we are today and the opening up of this fantastic piece of infrastructure that will bring enormous benefits to the whole county of Mayo.”
Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council stated: “Mayo County Council are very proud to have, through our National Roads Office, played the lead role in delivering this vitally important infrastructure project. Years of planning and work have culminated in today’s official opening of the road, which is sure to bring major long term economic and tourism benefits to the county.
“I would like to thank everyone who has made this project possible, and I would like to give special mention to the landowners and communities who were affected during the construction phase.”
Peter Walsh, Chief Executive Transport Infrastructure Ireland stated: “Delivering a safer national road network is a primary objective for Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The N5 Westport to Turlough project will improve safety for all road users as well as provide opportunities to increase public transport offerings throughout the region.”
The completed N5 Westport to Turlough Road project opened fully to the public at 1pm on Thursday, June 15th following the official opening ceremony on the roadside, which also saw the road blessed by members for the clergy from different faiths