Major road upgrade project referred to planning board

An Bord Pleanála is to study plans for the major upgrade of the N2 road.

Work is underway planning upgrades to the busy route, which links Dublin and Derry through Co Monaghan.

Monaghan County Council, in conjunction with its counterpart in Louth and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), has been leading the planning work on the project.

Two sections, from Ardee in Co Louth to Castleblayney in Monaghan and from Clontibret to the border with Co Tyrone, were to be upgraded in the major infrastructure plan.

However, it’s now understood the latter section has been shelved, a decision which has drawn criticism from local public representatives.

€1 million was allocated to the Ardee to Castleblayney section earlier this year but no funding was given to the northern section.

Following public consultations, Jacobs Consulting, which was hired by Monaghan County Council to coordinate the project, identified the preferred option for the route was to upgrade the existing N2 road. It runs from Ardee, bypassing Carrickmacross, before joining at the end of the existing Castleblayney bypass.

Surveying work along the route is now underway.

As a major infrastructure project, the upgrade has now been referred to An Bord Pleanála for consideration.

Lodged by Monaghan County Council this week, a decision is due from the planning board by early August.

Virginia Bypass

Seperately, planning is ongoing on the Virginia bypass project. A third public consultation session was held last Autumn following the publishing of the preferred route.

Linking Derver to Lisgrey, and running north of Lough Ramor, the chosen ‘Route C’ connects to Burrencarragh south of Virginia town and the R195 Oldcastle road.

It could include as many as three roundabouts, located at either end, with another forming a junction at the R178 Bailieborough Road unless overpassed.