The appeals board has attached just five minor conditions to planning for the €630 million route, clearing the way for diggers to move in on site in spring of 2007.
Adjustments to the plan include two further over-bridges to allow access to properties; extra clearance for one bridge and that dust monitoring should take place at eight specified locations.
The next phase of the project will involve archaeological testing, resolution and the issue of tenders for the construction of the new inter-urban route.
Project leader Joe Gannon said: “People in the South-East can be reassured they will have a road infrastructure that will help to support employment in the region by providing safer and faster access to national and international markets.
“Traffic congestion will be eased and road safety improved in towns and villages along the N9 and N10.
“In particular, Thomastown, Gowran, Paulstown, Stoneyford, Knocktopher, Ballyhale and Mullinavat will see a dramatic decrease in non-local through traffic when the road is completed.”
The 64km route will have six new grade separated junctions and 87 bridges. In February 2005, the county councils jointly published an environmental impact statement for the project, which identifies a number of measures to minimise disruption during construction and mitigate any adverse effects of the scheme on the environment.
“There is very little change involved from our original plan,” Mr Gannon added. “We have been working away on the project while the board was considering its decision. There was a certain element of risk in that, but we did not want the project to fall behind, time-wise.”
In the course of the seven-day long oral hearing which began on June 8 last, 12 presentations were made by groups or individuals who has concerns over the compulsory purchase of lands. A further five presentations were made on the environmental impact statement aspect of the works.
Among those to object were former Olympic gold medallist, Michelle Smith de Bruin, who argued the road would cut close to her home and be a source of noise and nuisance.
It will take two years to finish the first phase of the road, from Waterford city to Knocktopher in Kilkenny.