Decision on route to be made in the autumn

THE route of a controversial €90m road, which will completely bypass Killarney, is expected to be chosen in September, according to Kerry County Manager Martin Nolan.

Four likely routes for a new Killarney/Farranfore road are being considered by Kerry County Council and the National Roads Authority.

The 21km road will cover more than half of the distance between Killarney and Tralee and will start about a mile on the Tralee side of Farranfore.

Mr Nolan said the consultation phase had been completed and it was important to get through the design stage once a route was decided upon.

“Once we get to the design stage, we can then get into the national infrastructure queue,” he pointed out.

The road will be part of a major new route linking Killarney and Tralee.

Some of the Farranfore/Tralee section has been completed and Mr Nolan said he expected the council to go to tender for the Farranfore/Gortatlea section before the end of the year.

The IFA and local residents’ associations have been holding meetings amid concerns that the Killarney/Farranfore road will split farms and go through long-established rural communities.

The necessity for a new route has also been questioned, amid suggestions that the existing Killarney/Farranfore road could be upgraded and re-aligned.

But, the council says, the need for the new road had been set out in a number of local and national policy documents, include the national roads needs survey 1998, the National Development Plan and the Kerry county development plan.

The council also claims the existing Farranfore/Killarney road is limited in regard to hard shoulders and verges and has poor alignment, which causes inadequate, stopping sight distance over a large percentage of the road.

“Overtaking sight distance is also extremely limited and the overall safety situation would worsen further as traffic increased further in the coming years,’ said a council spokesperson.

The council further maintains the new routes offer greater safety and would reduce the number of accidents. There would also be a significant reduction in travel time between Killarney and Tralee.

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