Land take on horizon as Virginia bypass route confirmed
The final N3 Virginia Bypass route, which is due for completion in 2031, has been officially revealed by Cavan County Council today (Wednesday, see page 7 for map). The route's finalisation means the forced land take, dreaded by many, will soon take place with those affected urged to make contact with the project's liaison officer.
This will be carried out under phase three of the project, the Design and Environmental Evaluation stage.
“The purpose of this phase is to develop the design of the Transport Solution, including the mainline alignment, junction and side road arrangements, active travel facilities, transport park and share hubs, and land take requirements,” outlined the council in its announcement.
“As the design reaches a level of maturity where informed discussions can take place, the N3 Virginia Bypass seam will consult directly with impacted land and property owners on the developing design.”
The route, which is very similar to the preferred route C, will begin at the roundabout near Whitegate, and end on the N3 at Lisgrey.
It will have two further connections, one of which will connect with the N3 at Tírlán, formerly known as Glanbia, where the council owns a large plot of land.
The second connection will be located at the area of Cranadillon, which is located the Cavan side of Virginia, which will link the bypass to R194 from Virginia to Ballyjamesduff.
Linking Derver to Lisgrey, and running north of Lough Ramor, the proposed route 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. No further slip roads or roundabouts have been confirmed at this stage.
The total estimated cost of the project once complete could reach as high as €130m, however this is yet to be confirmed.
The council outlined all changes in their announcement stating: “An Emerging Preferred Option for the scheme was announced in August 2021, followed by a non-statutory period of public consultation seeking feedback on the Emerging Preferred Option.” Submissions and feedback received were reviewed and considered by the Project Team.
“It was determined that there was no substantially new and/or additional information, which would result in an amendment to the previously presented Emerging Preferred Option (EPO) Corridor. However, the junction corridor areas were reviewed and some of these areas have been amended in shape and reduced in size. In addition, corridors were developed depicting areas where side roads may be realigned and active travel infrastructure may be provided.”
Reacting to the news, Fine Gael Councillor T.P. O’Reilly said: “I’m glad to see it progressing but we would have been hoping it would have been coming up stream a bit sooner.”
“With the amount of traffic going through Virginia, it’s going to be a bit of a bottleneck and that’s not going to change very much until it’s done. It’s not going to be favourable on anyone travelling up and down to Dublin so I’d be anxious it would progress as quickly as possible.”
Cavan County Council is urging land and property owners impacted by the Preferred Transport Solution, or anyone interested in the scheme to make an appointment to speak with the project liaison officer by email at email@example.com or by phone on 014851400.